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Historically, mathematics and the perceived ability to learn mathematics have been used to educate children into different societal roles such as leadership/ruling class and labor/working class leading to segregation and separation (Berry, Ellis, & Hughes, 2014; Davis & Martin, 2008; Martin et al., 2010; Stanic, 1987; Tate, 1994; Woodson, 1933/2000). Algebra, in particular, plays a significant and historical role as gatekeeper to more advanced study in mathematics and postsecondary education because of its institutionally sanctioned reputation as the more sophisticated and “abstract” domain of mathematics (distinct from arithmetic, and foundational to calculus) that only some can or should be able to study (Aguirre, 2009; Spielhagen, 2011). " This entry was originally posted at http://profpr.dreamwidth.org/492621.html. Please comment there using OpenID."