R. Brown and T. Porter, What should be the context of an adequate specialist undergraduate education in mathematics?,The De Morgan Journal 2 no. 1 (2012), 41-67.
Comments are welcome — all posts on this blog are open to comments. A linked paper by David Wells.
From the Introduction:
The main focus of arguments on undergraduate degrees in mathematics is on content. However an old school debating society tag is: “Text without context is merely pretext.” We argue here that much of the implication of this remark holds in mathematics teaching.
The “context” of the training consists not only of the place it is given, and the background of the students, but also: the relation of the course to the rest of mathematics; what constitutes “good mathematics”; the possible future employment of the students; the way in which mathematics is used in society; the intrinsic value of the subject; how it has progressed over the ages; and so on.
Our argument for context is related to the notion of “Popularisation of Mathematics”: we suggest that we should also popularise mathematics to students, so that they can act as ambassadors for our subject!
Amendment: the three circles mentioned on page 64 are known as Miguel circles:
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