As the author says on p. Lockhart's core point is captured well by the first two paragraphs of this short book: A musician wakes from a terrible nightmare. It may seem less immediately practical, but people developed these techniques for reasons, and those reasons were deeply rooted in problems or theory that they were wrestling with.
Calculator required, so as to further blur these issues. Students are taught to view mathematics as a set of procedures, akin to religious rites, which are eternal and set in stone.
The comparison is with respect to Asian kids who supposedly do well in math. And the glory of it is its complete irrelevance to our lives. I told her that, as a math teacher, my habit is to identify the problem and to be certain I understand its contours before trying to solve it.
I hope I can help my children see that mathematics doesn't have to be "that way. In other words, teachers should have the freedom to do what they think is best. Very interesting. If his patterns are more permanent than theirs, it is because they are made with ideas.
Making students aware of that would, I think, make them better citizens; agreed-upon "standard" history changes, and is heavily influenced by current politics. Click to expand The traditional approach to teaching mathematics, however, is only part of a much larger problem: the widespread acceptance of the transmission model of learning as opposed to the constructivist model.