Home > Math Lint Archive Detail

<< Prev 4/20/2008 Next >>

The Anti's Have It

Susan Jacoby's The Age of American Unreason (2008) may hit home with mathematics teachers. In the book, she documents a "generalized hostility to knowledge" on the part of people of all ages.

Her specific focus is the fusing "in a particularly sidious way" of anti-intellectualism (i.e. "too much learning can be a dangerous thing") and anti-rationalism (i.e. "the idea that there is no such things as evidence or fact, just opinion"). Ugh!

Translating this to the world of mathematics education, this means that students now think that learning mathematics is dangerous to their being and that reasoning mathematically is a sham or farce. So what else is new!

Source: Adapted from New York Times, Feb. 14, 2008