in a perfect world of yancies: What-topia? And am I Being too Concrete?

10 May 2008

What-topia? And am I Being too Concrete?

First off, I promised a few posts back that I'd get you that tv-spot featuring Braxton. Please enjoy.

Next, some thought-provoking findings
The Times recently reported on a study published in the 25 April issue of Science that suggests that using concrete, real-world-ish examples in math classes may actually distract from learning.

The students who learned the math abstractly did well with figuring out the rules of the game. Those who had learned through examples using measuring cups or tennis balls performed little better than might be expected if they were simply guessing.

Just guessing? That has some potentially wild ramifications, and not just for math, but also for my own classes. In fact, I was recently discussing how helpful examples seem to be in the classroom . . . perhaps I and my colleagues have been misled by our own preconceptions? Yow.

(And if you're suspicious of my claim that math and philosophy stand quite close to one another, then I recommend more of both!)

In other news, Emily has been wearing this lovely coat lately:

And I put fenders on my bike! Hope it rains soon! (Seriously--I hope it rains soon; I want to see how well they work.)

Finally, I recently discovered McCarthy's Oregon Single Malt Whiskey. Pretty peat-y, but with a smooth finish. How could you not like it when they say on the website that it "would be a single malt Scotch if Oregon were Scotland"?

Does that even make sense? Maybe it will after one more taste?

Cheers, reader.

1 comment:

  1. Love Braxton's video and Emily's coat!

    But I certainly don't feel qualified to comment on the math theory. (Or the whiskey!)

    Let us know how the bike fenders work.