A Mathematician's Lament: How School Cheats Us Out of Our Most Fascinating and Imaginative Art Form

A Mathematician's Lament: How School Cheats Us Out of Our Most Fascinating and Imaginative Art Form

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by Paul Lockhart
     
 

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A manifesto for freeing math from the drudgery of traditional teaching by a brilliant mathematician.See more details below

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A manifesto for freeing math from the drudgery of traditional teaching by a brilliant mathematician.

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Publishers Weekly
Like music or painting, says long-time math teacher (K-12 and college) Lockhart, mathematics is an art-"the art of explanation," "the music of reason"-and its method of instruction in American schools has reduced a "rich and fascinating adventure of the imagination... to a sterile set of facts to be memorized and procedures to be followed." With passionate reasoning, Lockhart unveils the creative, flexible, open-minded side of math; an early analogy casting music education in a math instruction model-students must study proper notation for years before attempting to, say, hum a tune-makes a brilliant introduction. Making a clear distinction between "facts and formulas" and "mathematics," Lockhart inspires a second look at received wisdom regarding math-that it's necessary to learn (do carpenters use trigonometry? Does anyone balance their checkbook without a calculator?), or that it has any direct connection to reality ("the glory of it is its complete irrelevance to our lives"). Though it features a thorough thrashing of current methods without suggesting how to fix the curriculum, Lockhart's slim volume (based on his widely-circulated essay) provides a fresh way of thinking about math, and education in general, that should inspire practical applications in the classroom and at home.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781934137178
Publisher:
Bellevue Literary Press
Publication date:
04/01/2009
Pages:
192
Sales rank:
196,108
Product dimensions:
4.90(w) x 7.30(h) x 0.50(d)

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