www.maa.org/devlin/devlin_03_08.html Maybe you've seen this, maybe not. It's a fascinating read, IMO, and I'm curious what others think of it. Analogies sometimes fall flat (my fave so far is about the dentist who gets rated on how many cavities his patients have), but this is different, I think.

The biggest thing I take away form this article is this idea of playing with math. I can remember exactly how math was taught in high school. Teacher would introduce a new topic. Lets say quadratic formula. She would demonstrate how to do it, demonstrate again, any questions?, if yes demonstrate again, if no, assign problems. Students then just practiced plugging in numbers. There was absolutely no conversation about mathematics. So I agree that in many places math is likely "off". I have no problem with the standards in math. What I do is make sure we are talking about mathematics, the properties of math, how numbers interact with each other. I have been fortunate to have been influenced by Cognitively Guided Instruction and John Van De Walle. I really enjoy teaching math.

Furthermore, when I've searched the MAA Web site for "lockhart's lament", it spits up a page about the March 2008 Math Alert that gives a link to Devlin's article... that leads to precisely the "page not found" page that the link here leads to.

I see a pattern! Every second person gets a broken link. LOL, j/k. Maybe the link works in Firefox only? Off to check. Wow, totally broken in Chrome. Wha?

I'm very much not finding Devlin's article, though I'm not done looking - but here's Devlin's non-MAA blog, and the article at the top of the blog is on math education. mm, I know you won't agree with everything he says, but he makes some interesting points.

I notice that the online archives for Devlin's Angle (Devlin's column for the MAA) go back only to 2011 or maybe 2010; it's possible that the Lockhart article is in there somewhere, but Googling isn't making that obvious.

How odd. I just read that tonight for my online course. It´s actually called ¨A Mathmetician´s Lament¨. The link did not work for me either.

(Golly, I looooove the Wayback Machine.) Try this: http://web.archive.org/web/20130406172850/http://www.maa.org/devlin/devlin_03_08.html

I've seen it before. While he makes some good points, he's off the mark for most of the article. Remind me tomorrow when I'm not so tired to post my objections.

I was able to open this link. I have to admit, I didn´t read it in its entirety. Its premise seems to be that math is an art, and no one, including educators, really ¨get¨ what math is. I don´t know if I buy all that. I definitely think we need to make math more hands on, project-based, and exploratory in some cases, but I don´t buy the notion that nobody really understands what math is.

I did not read it completely through either, but I too don't completely buy it all. I struggle with the idea that "all students can be successful if taught correctly." And "not all students are math minded." Of course I believe that all students can learn, and if taught correctly can be successful to a certain degree. However, in comparing math to art, it also reinforces my belief that people have different strengths and that somethings come more naturally than others. I will never be star athlete, or world famous painter or musician. I loved high school algebra. I was great at memorizing formulas and I loved that if the formula was used, I could get the correct answer every single time. Geometry was harder for me. I have trouble with spacial reasoning. I am not at all artistic and am terrible at music. This doesn't mean I don't enjoy singing with the radio or doodling on my notepad. While I agree with him that we have taken the joy out of math, there will always be students who struggle with math. I am embarrassed to admit that there are times that I finally break down and teach my students the shortcut (hairy money) because we just can't spend anymore time waiting on their light bulb to come on. Of course I am open to any ideas that will make me a better teacher.