What is a Course?
In my 100th blog post I complained about the course called ‘algebra’. Some commenters misunderstood the complaint. Though I said a few times in the article that my critique was not about the content called algebra but the aimless march through stuff that makes up almost every algebra course in existence, some thought I was bashing the value of the content. Not so. Another commenter said: you might have ranted, then, about many history courses! Indeed I could have – and have done so multiple times in my career.
The issue, then, is not ‘algebra’ or ‘history’ but what we mean by ‘course of study’. I am claiming that to be a valid course, there has to be more than just a list of valued stuff that we cover – even if that list seems vital to me, the teacher. Rather, a course must seem coherent and meaningful from the…
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