A Mathematician's Lament by Paul Lockhart is an eye-opening article on what mathematics is really about. Lots of food for thought here. Once you are through reading you'll be inspired to throw out everything you know about the teaching of mathematics and have some creative, artful fun with it. If everyone were exposed to mathematics in its natural state, with all the challenging fun and surprises that that entails, I think we would see a dramatic change both in the attitude of students toward mathematics, and in our conception of what it means to be “good at math.” We are losing so many potentially gifted mathematicians—creative, intelligent people who rightly reject what appears to be a meaningless and sterile subject. They are simply too smart to waste their time on such piffle.
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