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What is Mathematics?

Preservice teachers Lauren Nowak and Matthew Jodino explore their definition of Mathematics

Lauren Nowak

on 29 March 2013

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Transcript of What is Mathematics?

What is Mathematics? That depends...who's asking? If we go by what our students think... No one wants their students to feel this way about math. ...of such a big picture? But who can blame them, when what they see in school is such a small part... ||||||||||||||||||||||| ||||||||||||||||||||||| ||||||||||||||||||||||| ||||||||||||||||||||||| ||||||||||||||||||||||| ||||||||||||||||||||||| ||||||||||||||||||||||| ||||||||||||||||||||||| //////////////// \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\ How do we think their views would change if we not only recognized that this is math... ...but that this is math and this is math and this and

this and these are all considered math? What if, instead of viewing math as disconnected drills and nonsense rules, we viewed it as a story? Beginning setting characters initial conflict What's our background knowledge?

What cultural norms are shaping the math? What mathematical objects are we working with? What properties do they have? What's their personality? What is the problem? What do we want to change or learn? What intrigued us? Middle further conflicts our way of thinking about the problem doesn't work we make a silly mistake that causes our answer not to make sense we discover there's a bigger question we haven't answered branching stories we make unexpected connections we get side-tracked on an interesting detail we juggle multiple aspects of the problem at once character development the graph behaves unexpectedly we find out certain information was misleading we learn a key characteristic of the shape End structure themes meaning conclusion what was the overarching method to our investigation? what frameworks are helpful? what logic did we employ? what patterns did we see? how can this one question be answered through different perspectives? how does this connect to the "real world?" how can I use this? Did I enjoy this? Was it challenging? How do I see myself and my world differently now? ... or not! Did we answer our questions? Is it a satisfying ending? What is left "to be continued..." What will we never know? Though we say,

"everything that has a beginning

has an end" often an ending can be considered a beginning We invite you to share your own experiences, and decide for yourself... We started this exploration
with a simple question As any mathematician can tell you, simple questions often have very complex answers!
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