Author Topic: Defamiliarization in Mathematics ?  (Read 655 times)

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A Template for Adult Mathematics Education?
« Reply #15 on: November 12, 2017, 10:29:40 am »
Quote from: Raul
As I understand there is a conspiracy against education here, there, everywhere. We have the Facultad Politécnica whose budget has been reduced. After all why would they need mathematicians if it is better to spend that money on blond secretaries for the  politicians. This world is a joke.

I think with that those vitamins you take, you are going to endure many nights of hard study.

The world is a wicked joke, yes.   While education is praised, formal education is most often mocked.  In general, money talks, education walks.

Of course, in reality, humans have always learned in the normal course of their lives.

Modern conditions may require formal education in formal courses, but who can be trusted to be teaching what is relevant to us?  After all, I have witnessed the disappointment most graduates must experience.  Even after receiving A's or B's in difficult and challenging courses, when all was said and done, I was only more aware of how very little I knew and how little one can really learn in such environments. 

El mundo humano esta rebosante de enfermedades mentales.

One hears of "wars of the womb".  People still gather to dance and sing with children screaming with excitement. 

Back in the mid-twentieth century when money from the federal government (in the USA) was invested in the creation of the "modern mathematics" textbooks, they had the youth in mind, primarily "high school students", or what is known as "secondary schooling" as opposed to primary schooling (from elementary school up to "junior high school" (7th and 8th grades),   

In other words, it was a systematic approach, an attempt to cultivate intellectual discipline.   Who knows what the intentions were of the politicians.  I suspect it was motivated by the desire to advance military technology in some kind of imagined international competition between nation-states.  Whatever the motivations behind the money which put that program into action, the results were chaotic and unprecedented.   It really caused distress and confusion for so many.

My concern is not with institutions of compulsory education.

Also, as far as adults are concerned, the purpose of lifelong learning is most often highly job related.  This approach presents too narrow and limited an understanding of the nature, aims, and purpose of "lifelong education."

While lifelong learning may be mostly associated with technological development, I imagine that, when it comes to formal and rigorous study of mathematics, the concept of lifelong learning must be extended to encompass the needs of those who have fallen (or slithered) out of the work force.  To be blunt, the concept of lifelong learning must be extended to encourage the study of formal mathematics as a way to develop certain mental habits and engage in something more akin to art and music.

Too often our governments seem to only be concerned with training future scientists who will work in the military-industrial complex, but most are destined to participate as prisoners or guards in the prison complex, or as patients in the psychiatric wards or drug/alcohol rehabilitation centers.   The world is a horrible joke.

Lately I have been keeping my posts here short, but I could ramble on and on about my ideas concerning the development of more meaningful ways to enjoy long stretches of leisure time.   Many people are mentally wounded by too much time on their hands, and they want to keep busy with some kind of steady employment.   

I suppose there are others who only wish they had more leisure to engage in a personalized curriculum of lifelong learning.

In other words, while the motivation for having mathematicians write a series of mathematics texts was based on the political and military ambitions of the collective so-called leadership, my interest in their underappreciated and most often mocked achievement is to spend my time and energy revisiting mathematics in a formal manner - but not necessarily in a formal setting - for the personal rewards and satisfactions that this confers.

This encourages one to be in one's own orbit.

If certain societies wished to broaden the scope of institutional learning, they might wish to create more opportunities for adults to pursue further education.

My intentions are not to persuade politicians or their masters, the rich industrialists, to invest in creating such opportunities, but to point out that the individual need not wait for such opportunities to arise.  In fact, quite subversively, I wish to remove the careerist-oriented outlook from the equation altogether.

I want to study mathematics as an end in itself and not to become a better tool for the Overlords.

Many adults view learning as an opportunity to improve their professional and economic positions.  However, current socio-economic conditions lead to many adults feeling like losers amidst the present-day developments.  They are forced to participate in adult education courses and have not chosen to do so.  They do it because they must. 

I suppose that I ought to clarify that I only speak for myself and that I choose the lifelong study of mathematics as some kind of reincarnated Pythagorean, and not as a gort trying to find gainful employment in the military-industrial entertainment-prison complex.

I am suggesting the motivation of embracing lifelong learning of mathematics solely for the benefit of one's mental health and the cultivation of one's personal mental life.

It's a crazy idea that is not likely to find much support in mass society where people need shelter and access to food.

And so I simply represent one man stubbornly devoted to keeping his own head together in the midst of a world drowning in chaos and confusion.

I guess that what I am trying to say is that the nerdiest of the squares from the mid-twentieth century may have unintentionally passed down a template that can be used by those who were not their intended audience at all.  To be more specific, adults might discover that mathematics is not what they or their teachers have been lead to think it is.  What most people think of as mathematics is only one particular system.

Myself, I was always drawn to mind-altering drugs.  When you think about it, retraining the mind to think about mathematics in a novel way does alter the mind.

Maybe I am looking for a way to tap into the mind-boggling hipness of the absolute nerd.
« Last Edit: November 12, 2017, 11:53:44 am by Non Serviam »
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