Archive for August 30, 2012

Perplexity over engagement: How to get kids in an enduring STEM relationship

This piece got mentioned in an earlier blog post comment Mylène, and I wanted to make sure that it got highlighted.  It’s a wonderful post about what really leads to an enduring relationship with a subject matter.  There are some great lessons here for computing education. Media Computation fares well when considered from this perspective. I just used MediaComp as a way of introducing graduate students to Python, and they puzzled (for example) over why sounds came out the way that they did.  I thought it worked as a way of getting the students to start reasoning with Python.

An ounce of perplexity is worth a pound of engagement. Give me a student with a question in her head, one that math can help her answer, over a student who’s been engaged by a poster or a celebrity testimonial or the promise of a career. Engagement fades. Perplexity endures.

Perhaps it comes to this: rather than remembering your own tastes as a twelve-year-old, empathize with the tastes of a twelve-year-old who isn’t anything like you, one who has experienced only humiliation and failure in mathematics. What does math have to offer that student?

via dy/dan » Blog Archive » Public Relations.

August 30, 2012 at 11:43 am Leave a comment


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