Re: if using Mathematica to solve an algebraic problem

*To*: mathgroup at smc.vnet.net*Subject*: [mg108990] Re: if using Mathematica to solve an algebraic problem*From*: Richard Fateman <fateman at cs.berkeley.edu>*Date*: Fri, 9 Apr 2010 03:33:08 -0400 (EDT)

David Park wrote: > Well, if the students are truly incapable of thinking it hardly seems fair > to take their money, or to fool the public by credentialing them. We do it all the time! Or would you rather have ineducable people out roaming the streets? Oh, I think we do have that... Or maybe we make them CEOs of banks and such. Or elected officials. > If you > want to teach broader based thinking skills you need more mentoring, > projects, essay questions and fewer "grind out the answers" type tests. But > then that would be much more expensive to provide, wouldn't it? > It is unclear that we know how to do it, regardless of the cost. There are a very few books on solving problems, for example. > But this is a Mathematica news group so the real question is: what role, if > any, can Mathematica play in education? yes, that is a good question. > It seems obvious that Mathematica > should be useful in education - or something like Mathematica. At least to readers of this newsgroup. For people who are learning to read, Mathematica is not so useful. > but the obvious isn't always true or easy. I > consider it as an ongoing problem to be solved. Mathematica is something of > an amorphous object depending on how we adapt it. It isn't fair to just > treat it as a fixed thing that doesn't work. There are a lot of educators > out there who are trying to adapt Mathematica to educational uses and some > are doing very impressive things. so far as I know, not impressive in a measurable way. (e.g. students using Mathematica learning more calculus) > It would be nice to hear more from them > about their successes and frustrations, and how they are using it and what > techniques they use. > sure.