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Author Smith, Michael K., Ph.D.

Title HumblePi : the role mathematics should play in American education / Michael K. Smith.

Published Amherst, N.Y. : Prometheus Books, 1994.


Location Call No. Status
 UniM Store  Q38388    AVAILABLE
Physical description 218 p. : ill. ; 24 cm.
Bibliography Includes bibliographical references.
Summary Anyone who has ever suffered through a tough math class has probably wondered, "When am I going to use this stuff?" If you're confused by how real-life problems can be helped by pi, cosine, and the exact time two speeding trains will meet, then this book is for you. Humble Pi challenges the assumptions that lie at the heart of math education. Michael K. Smith says he is not "anti-math," but he believes that there are a number of untested myths in most discussions about the role of mathematics in education. Smith addresses such questions as: Is math proficiency linked to the ability to reason logically and to think critically? Do most people need courses in algebra, geometry, trigonometry, and calculus for practical daily living and success in life? How reliable a gauge of innate intelligence is the math component of the SAT exam? Will strengthened math courses really help America become competitive in world markets?
Smith argues for a rethinking of the proper role of mathematics in education. Our emphasis on pure mathematics for all students is misguided, he maintains, and has not worked. Our students would be more successful if they were trained in practical mathematics - the math that is of direct practical use in everyday life and that is geared to each individual career choice. Instead of traditional mathematics courses, students should work on solving complex problems, problems that draw on knowledge from different disciplines and are more closely connected to experiences they will face as citizens. According to Smith, the pure mathematics that is currently taught should be offered only as an elective course, for those students especially interested in pursuing mathematics or a related discipline as a career. Humble Pi is a provocative, well-researched, and thought-provoking contribution to the current debate over national educational goals.
Subject Mathematics -- Study and teaching -- United States.
ISBN 0879758775 (acid-free paper) : $26.95