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.
Synopsis
Seven years after its publication in Germany, this book is now available to English readers. In the German-speaking countries, the publication led to intense controversies on the significance, the goals, and the future development of mathematics instruction in schools. Currently, there is much debate in many countries on how to evaluate the findings of such international comparative studies as TIMSS and PISA, debate on which consequences should be taken for designing national curricula and on which reforms of mathematics instruction in schools should be initiated. I hope that this book might provide substantial suggestions beneficial to resolving these and similar issues, for its major concern is twofold: first, to determine the essential characteristics of general education in schools, and, secondly, on the basis of this, to specify the status of mathematics instruction within the framework of general education in schools. Due to the fundamental nature of my argument, I did not consider it necessary to update the book superficially for the English edition. Thus, I am presenting the book to the English-speaking public in its original form, the single exception being that I have omitted the original second chapter since that chapter ( Bildung und Allgemeinbildung ) seems to be relevant only to those readers especially interested in German educational debates. Most of those readers, in turn, will belong to the German-speaking public. The omission of this chapter necessitated a few insignificant alterations in the (otherwise unchanged) introduction and at the beginning of the present second (originally, third) chapter."
Synopsis
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