IAE Blog

Information Age Education (IAE) is an Oregon not-for-profit corporation founded by David Moursund in August 2007. The IAE Blog was started in August 2010.

More About a Poor Way to Teach the Solving of Math Word Problems

My 12/16/2010 IAE Blog entry about a poor way to teach math word problem-solving has received a lot of hits. (See the entry at http://i-a-e.org/iae-blog/look-before-you-leap-think-before-you-act-above-all-first-understand.html.) However, it has received few (positive or negative) responses to me or comments added to that entry.

Here are some more of my thoughts on this topic.

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In Problem Solving, Think Before You Act

This IAE Blog entry can be summarized by the statement, "First understand the problem."

My friend Robert Albrecht and I are writing a book on the use of games in math education (Moursund and Albrecht, 2011). Part of our focus is on math word problems. Today I was browsing the Web to find information useful in the book, and I came across a 2001 article in The Math Forum, "Ask Dr. Math" at http://mathforum.org/library/drmath/view/57500.html.

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Steadily Increasing World Population Is a Steadily Increasing Problem in Sustainability

In 1968, when I was much younger than I am today, Paul Ehrlich’s book The Population Bomb was published. I remember being quite alarmed at the time I read it. One result was that my wife and I, who planned to have four children, decided to adopt two mixed-race children to join the two children we already had in our family.

I recently read the following interview of Paul Ehrlich:

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Shorter Is Often Better—In Grant Writing and in Teaching

Here is one of my favorite quotes:

I have made this letter longer than usual, only because I have not had the time to make it shorter. (Blaise Pascal; French mathematician, physicist, religious philosopher, and child prodigy; 1623–1662.)

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Forecasting the Future: Good Education Helps Prepare Students for Their Possible Futures

All of us routinely make forecasts about our possible futures. For example, I wake up in the morning and reach to my dresser top to pick up my glasses. I forecast that they will be where I usually leave them. Once in a great while they have been moved by one of my cats—indeed, may be lying on the floor. Somewhat similarly, I go to my closet and reach for a shirt that I forecast will be there. I put on my shoes and tell my fingers to undertake the somewhat magical process called tying my shoes. I forecast that this tying process will happen correctly. (Sometimes it doesn’t.)

A few minutes later I am reading a newspaper, eating breakfast, and planning my day. That is, I am in the process of creating my future. When I plan and then make decisions about implementing my plans, I forecast that I will successfully carry out my plans. I can analyze possible results of successfully carrying out my plans—that is, making my forecasts come true.

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