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Other titles in the Mathematics Education Library series:
Mathematics Education Library #33: Why Teach Mathematics?: A Focus on General Educationby Hans Werner Heymann
Synopses & Reviews
The cultural and practical significance of mathematics in our society contrasts strikingly with the way adolescents experience mathematics in school. Mathematics teaching, it appears, succeeds in promoting abilities related to systematical and critical thinking, to problem solving, and to formulating rational arguments only for a minority of students. Why Teach Mathematics presents detailed arguments for seven interconnected objectives of a school system aiming at general education. A specific concept of general education involving these seven objectives serves as a criterion for a critique of the current widespread form of mathematics instruction, identifying its deficits and determining which innovations are necessary. Existing concepts of mathematics teaching are reexamined and assessed in the light of the concept of general education. Finally, the book provides a profile of an alternative mathematics instruction that can, indeed, help to realize a general education.
Book News Annotation:
In light of all the evidence showing that conventional mathematics in schools serves neither any foreseeable societal demands nor the individual needs and interests of most adolescents, Heymann (U. Siegen, Germany) asks why studying mathematics should be compulsory, and why society should pay for it. He says the justification for both must be sought outside the field of mathematics, and undertakes one based on the modern concept of general education. The German edition proved quite controversial when it was published seven years ago; for the English edition he has dropped a chapter devoted to German educational debates.
Annotation ©2004 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
In this book, the author discusses a modern concept of general education that then helps to clarify both curricular and pedagogical deficits involved in conventional mathematics instruction. It provides an outline of an alternative mathematics instruction that can help to realize a general education and presents detailed arguments for seven interconnected objectives of a school system aiming at general education.
Table of Contents
Preface to the English Edition 1: Introduction 2: An Outline of the Concept of General Education as a Frame of Reference 2.1 Preparation for Later Life 2.2 Promoting Cultural Competence 2.3 Developing an Understanding of the World 2.4 Development of Critical Thinking 2.5 Developing a Willingness to Assume Responsibility 2.6 Practice in Communication and Cooperation 2.7 Enhancing Students' Self-Esteem 2.8 Concluding Remarks on the Scope and Status of this Concept of General Education 3: Mathematics Instruction From the Perspective of General Education 3.1 Mathematics Instruction and Preparation for Later Life 3.2 Mathematics Instruction and Cultural Competence 3.3 Developing an Understanding of the World in Mathematics Instruction 3.4 Thinking, Understanding, and the Use of Critical Thinking in Mathematics Instruction 3.5 Mathematics Instruction With Socio-ethical and Student-Related Objectives: Responsibility, Communication and Cooperation, Enhancing Students' Self-Esteem 3.6 Elements of a New Culture of Instruction 4: A Profile of Mathematics Teaching as Part of a General Education Notes References Index
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