On Friday I realized—yet again—that my too-clever-for-their-own-good students were finding ways to answer questions without understanding the ideas.
Rather than reckon with the concept of slope, they were memorizing a complex rule:
That’s all true, so far as it goes, but it’s as opaque and sinister as the tax code.
“Math is supposed to make sense!” I told them, and in my flailing to explain why, I found myself reaching for my favorite rhetorical tool: the overly-detailed analogy.
So, to see what math class is like for memorization-driven students, imagine that you’re a household robot.