[Edu-sig] Introducing classes

Andre Roberge andre.roberge at gmail.com
Sat Mar 4 17:03:07 CET 2006

On 3/4/06, kirby urner <kirby.urner at gmail.com> wrote:
> Too much talk today, on adult math teacher lists, is about how "the
> kids today" are dumber and/or less qualified than we were or are.
> This is all a prelude / setup for not turning over significant
> responsibility to younger people.
> Because our traditional school system has not made sophisticated use
> of TV or multimedia (which young people grew up on), I tend to side
> with them and make it part of my business to boost their power and
> authority, in part by taking their talents and powers seriously.
> Related blog post:
> http://controlroom.blogspot.com/2006/02/boosting-bandwidth.html

I agree that the education system could make a better use of modern
multimedia tools ... but up to a point. A teacher should *not* have to
be an entertainer first.  A teacher should be a guide for learners,
accompanying them in their journey.  The goal of the journey might be
for the learners to become their own entertainer, producing "stuff"
that interest them - within the discipline being considered.  This may
mean having them use Python and related tools (e.g. PyGeo) to learn
about mathematical concepts.  *But*, it means having *them* (the
learners) using Python and related and non-related tools.  That's
where I differ from some points you made in the above quoted blog

If all teachers shared your skills, perhaps I might come to a
different conclusion.  However, they do not ... and this is partly why
I've argued to see more discussions about things like turtle.py - how
it can be used in a teaching setting, simple examples, pedagogical
guides, enhancements, etc.  Something that can help your average
teacher be a respected guide from what s/he can bring to their


> Kirby

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