kitchen table math, the sequel: inflexible knowledge in action

Thursday, February 14, 2008

inflexible knowledge in action

C. called home after school to say that the math test was "pretty easy."

"But, oh mom!" he said. "It didn't have the problems we did!"

"What problems?"

"It didn't have population problems or problems about the price of something."

"It didn't?"


"What kind of percent problems did it have?"

"Problems about markups and discounts."

Inflexible Knowledge: The First Step to Expertise


Anonymous said...


Have you ever seen George Polya's "How to Solve it" ?

He was one of the original mathematicians to try and write books about how to help students THINK and learn about math, and a great deal of the book is about creating flexible knowledge.

It's too advanced for C, but it might not be for you, given all you've taught yourself.

So it teaches things like "when you're in that void and feeling fear that you don't know how to solve a problem, relate it to a problem you DO know how to solve!" and shows doing that over and over again.

Catherine Johnson said...

It might be time to tackle Polya.

Good suggestion.