March 22, 2012

“In Mindstorms (Papert, 1980), I asked (choosing one out of a vast number of possible examples) why the quadratic equation of the parabola is included in the mathematical knowledge every educated citizen is expected to know. Saying that it is “good math” is not enough reason: The curriculum includes only a minute sliver of the total body of good mathematics. The real reason is that it matches the technology of pencil and paper: It is easy for a student to draw the curve on squared paper and for a teacher to verify that the assignment has been done correctly.”

Papert, S. (1995). Why School Reform is Impossible. The Journal of the Learning Sciences, 6(4), pp. 417-427.

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