Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Mathematics is not so much ability as attitude

..the renee tape is one of his favaroites because of how beautifully it illustrates what he considers to be the secret to learning mathematics: Twenty-two minutes pass from the moment she says, "Ahhhh. That means something now." That's a long time. "If I put the average person in the same situation.. I'm guessing that after the first few attempts, they would have said, "I don't get it. I need you to explain it."..Schoenfield once asked a group of.. students how long they would work on a homework question before they concluded it wasn't theirs to solve.. the average was two minutes. But [she] persists. She experiments. She goes back over the same
issues time and again. She thinks out loud. She keeps going and going.
She won't give up.

"Oh! it's... " Her facelights up... Ohhh okay. Now I see.. That means

He teaches a course.. I pick a problem that I don't know how to solve, 'he says' I tell my students, 'You're going to have a two-week take-home exam [or in my case.. 6 days to do a homework assignment]..' I know your habits. You're going to do nothing for the first week and start it next week, and I Want to warn you now: If you only spend one week on this, you're not going to solve it. If, on the other hand, you start working on it the minute you get the assignent,
[it might not work the first second.. but by week two [or in my case day 5] you'll have solved it.

Mathematics is not so much ability as attitude. Success is a function of persistence and doggedness and the willingness to work hard for twenty two minutes to make sense of something that most people would give up on after thirty seconds.

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