Why do we teach what we teach in schools?

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# Why do we teach what we teach in schools? - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

Why do we teach what we teach in schools?. Lee Peng Yee 25-11-2008 Singapore. What is the area of a circle?. A = π r² A = ( π /4)d² d = diameter A = ½ cr c = circumference Why do we teach the poorest formula among the three?.

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### Why do we teach what we teach in schools?

Lee Peng Yee

25-11-2008 Singapore

What is the area of a circle?
• A = πr²
• A = (π/4)d² d = diameter
• A = ½ cr c = circumference

Why do we teach the poorest formula among the three?

### What happened in the past led to what school mathematics is today

10 story lines
• Spherical and other geometries spelled the fall of Euclidean geometry.
• Cartesian coordinates served as a bridge for the migration to take place from geometry to algebra.
• David Hilbert saved and killed Euclidean geometry.
10 story lines (cont’d)
• Algebra came from the Arab world and in time dominated school mathematics.
• In the years 1600 to 2000 geometry turned algebraic and algebra went structural and numerical.
• Chinese learn mathematics differently and they learn how before they learn why.

### We must also look into the future to learn what we should do today

10 story lines (cont’d)
• The fourth milestone in mathematics education after Euclidean geometry, calculus, pure mathematics is computation.
• The marriage of geometry and calculus gave birth to differential geometry.
10 story lines (cont’d)
• Mathematical models are no longer restricted to physical sciences.
• Mathematical tools go from exact to approximate and further to stochastic.
Why we teach what we teach
• Rich in content and rich in examination questions
• For computation and for rigour
• For assessment though not assessment alone
• For knowledge and for the use of knowledge
Why we teach… (cont’d)
• What we can relate to
• Statistics is a misfit
• Certain concepts must be taught early
• For workplace

### END

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