
02321997
a
1998c.01821
Davis, Robert B.
When is calculus humanistic?
White, A.M., Essays in humanistic mathematics. The Mathematical Association of America, Washington, DC (ISBN 0883850893). 165173 (1993).
1993
The Mathematical Association of America, Washington, DC
EN
D43
humanistic mathematics
When we ask whether a course of study is humanistic, writes Robert Davis, we ask a very different kind of question from those that are usually posed, and the answers can point us in quite different directions. A course is humanistic if its main goals include: helping students develop an appreciation of some of the great achievements of the human mind, learning to help others understand a mathematical situation or problem more deeply; being able to talk about and write about mathematical situations; developing a lively intellectual curiosity. ``Twelve years of being told how to perform largely meaningless operations on largely meaningless symbols is not humanistic education \dots It is not \dots education at all.'' This chapter is about a calculus course at University High School of the University of Illinois and the effect on the students and the teacher. The interaction of the students with the intellectual challenges and the resulting excitement affords special attention to the humanistic dimensions. (orig.)