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Bob, This is a great approach to teaching. No knowledge is isolated. =
It all fits within a context. When given contextual knowledge, students =
develop a more complete understanding of the principles being taught and =
the opportunity to apply the knowledge creates natural extension =
opportunities. Bravo.
If anyone experienced the factory style teaching of the 50's and 60's =
with the fact memorization and regurgitation without application =
possibilities, you may have experienced the same frustrations in fitting =
knowledge together so that it made sense or so that you could care about =
it. I wish I'd had the chance to learn math with manipulatives. I =
might have done soooo much more with it. I turned into a "learn what I =
need as I need it" student in math. I wonder how many visual thinkers =
were frustrated with math? Linda
-----Original Message-----
From: Bob Beeching <robprod>
To: artsEdnet TALK <artsednet.edu>
Date: Saturday, July 17, 1999 5:42 PM
Subject: RE: ART and SCIENCE
art and science go together=85=20
Some students taking a course in Plane Geometry were displaying great =
difficulty understanding the significance of mathematical symbols and =
equations. Since they were already taking VISUAL ARTS I, I suggested to =
the math instructor that perhaps a more concrete visual approach to =
problem solving may be in order.
During the semester, I approached geometry from the aspect of physical =
construction. We began to interpret angles of incident in a purely =
tangible way. A college cohort, who had recently returned from a =
workshop with Buckminster Fuller displayed examples of what Fuller =
interpreted as tension structures, where students were required to =
produce a tension structure using only thin strips of wood and sewing =
thread to produce the required assignment.
In no time at all, students - by a process of trial-and-error, began to =
construct intricate structures where no two pieces of wood touched one =
another, and where the whole design was held together by tension alone. =
This proved to be a most significant model for these students to begin =
to comprehend the nature of Plane Geometry.
Not prepared to leave it at that, I proposed that, now that these =
students had learned something about basic construction techniques, they =
might want to consider the possibility of extending their knowledge =
further with a practical application. What resulted from this process of =
experimentation, was a kite design; in fact - a whole bevy of kites that =
students took to a playing field, and flew - to their hearts content.
In this contracted scenario, we are demonstrating that, when seemingly =
isolated variables are brought together, they often make a new whole =
object of design. Not only did these students gain a new perspective on =
the subject of geometry, they also gained knowledge in the area of =
industrial design. Too often, the teaching of subject matter is limited =
to one perspective that can result in misinformation, or no information =
at all, leaving students waiting for a better explanation. This does not =
have to be the case.
More to come=85
__________________________________rb
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art and science go together…
Some students taking a course in Plane Geometry were = displaying great=20 difficulty understanding the significance of mathematical symbols and = equations.=20 Since they were already taking VISUAL ARTS I, I suggested to the math = instructor=20 that perhaps a more concrete visual approach to problem solving = may be in=20 order.
During the semester, I approached geometry from the aspect of = physical=20 construction. We began to interpret angles of incident in a = purely=20 tangible way. A college cohort, who had recently returned from a = workshop=20 with Buckminster Fuller displayed examples of what Fuller = interpreted as=20 tension structures, where students were required to produce a = tension=20 structure using only thin strips of wood and sewing thread to produce = the=20 required assignment.
In no time at all, students - by a process of trial-and-error, = began=20 to construct intricate structures where no two pieces of wood touched = one=20 another, and where the whole design was held together by tension = alone.=20 This proved to be a most significant model for these students to begin = to=20 comprehend the nature of Plane Geometry.
Not prepared to leave it at that, I proposed that, now that these = students=20 had learned something about basic construction techniques, they might = want to=20 consider the possibility of extending their knowledge further with a=20 practical application. What resulted from this process of=20 experimentation, was a kite design; in fact - a whole bevy of = kites that=20 students took to a playing field, and flew - to their hearts = content.
In this contracted scenario, we are demonstrating that, when = seemingly=20 isolated variables are brought together, they often make a = new=20 whole object of design. Not only did these students gain a new=20 perspective on the subject of geometry, they also gained knowledge in = the area=20 of industrial design. Too often, the teaching of subject matter is = limited to=20 one perspective that can result in misinformation, or no information at = all,=20 leaving students waiting for a better explanation. This does not have to = be the=20 case.
More to come…
__________________________________rb