So at my session at Twitter Math Camp 12, I felt brave enough to admit to some of the questions I've found myself having as a non-native speaker of math teaching who walks among you. I confessed that they do not sound like the typical questions I feel are expected to be generated by students, although there are plenty of students in math classrooms who, like me, are non-native speakers.
The perplexing thing is, they generated a lot of interest and conversation about on-ramps for students into a state of flow while doing mathematical activity, so I thought I would make a list of them here. So without editing, here is a list of the questions I prepared as part of my thinking as I was working through the issues of flow for students to whom the physics-oriented world-around-us questions are not the most natural ones to raise.
I often look at Dan's digital media problems and set-ups and find myself wondering...
- Does it always work that way?
- Does it ever deviate?
- Are there any rules of thumb we can abstract from observing this process?
- Are there any exceptions? If so, what? If not, why not?
- How long have people known about this?
- Who first discovered this phenomenon?
- How was it useful to them in their context?
- How did they convince others it was an important aspect of the problem?
- Did the knowledge it represents ever get lost?
- If so, how/when was it rediscovered?
- How did this discovery cross culture? How did it cross between different fields of knowledge?
- What were the cultural barriers/obstacles to wider acceptance of these findings as knowledge?
- What were the implications of a culture accepting this knowledge?
- Why do I feel like the only person in the room who ever cares about these questions?
It also made me realize that I am not, in fact, alone.