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Pedagogical style [was Re: The "loop and a half"]


Steve D'Aprano <steve+python at pearwood.info> writes:
<snip>
> There's no link to the original paper, only to secondary sources that discuss
> it, e.g.:
>
> http://phys.org/pdf128266927.pdf

<snip>
> [1] Anecdotes are not data, but for what it is worth, just in the last two
> days I came across two examples of this. Teaching a boy in Year 10 maths
> about logarithms, he struggled with purely algebraic questions involving
> solving exponential equations by using logs, but when given a concrete
> problem involving an investment he was able to solve it immediately.
>
> The second example involved a girl in Year 8 maths, who again struggled with
> abstract questions about adding and multiplying fractions. In particular, she
> overgeneralised from fraction multiplication to addition, thinking that 1/4 +
> 1/4 must add to 2/8. But when put into concrete geometric terms, showing
> physical shapes divided into quarters, she could instantly tell that 1/4 plus
> 1/4 must be 1/2.
>
> As I said, anecdotes are not data, but when research claims to show that
> apples fall upwards in contradiction to anecdotal evidence that they fall
> downwards, we would be wise to be cautious before accepting the research as
> fact.

I think the paper is this one:

http://faculty.psy.ohio-state.edu/sloutsky/pdf/KSH-published.pdf

(You can find more recent papers by searching the Ohio State University
site.)

>From what I've read, your anecdotes are not in contradiction to the
paper's claims.

-- 
Ben.