I have finished “A Mathematician’s Lament!”
The final section of the article was about high school geometry and how its twisted, distorted ways (mainly proofs) drain students of all mathematical curiosity and inventiveness. I admit, I did not enjoy proofs in Geometry. They were terribly difficult, frustratingly annoying problems because I had to include every possible theorem, definition, or property that could have possibly contributed to the situation being proved. Ugh! I like structure, but man, proving was much too structured for this girl. However, this section was actually my favorite to read; Lockhart is certainly is an entertaining writer.
“A Mathematician’s Lament” is a contemplative article. Lockhart, with a courageous effort, revealed his opinionated thoughts to teachers, students, and parents everywhere on the mathematical education in today’s society. Lockhart makes the reader consider what should really be the purpose, the meaning, behind a child’s (and young adult’s) mathematical education. And actually, what should be the groundwork for all areas of education. Should children learn through discovery and curiosity or through definitions and memorization? In my opinion, after reading this article, a well-balanced mix of the two ideologies would be most beneficial. But, everyone has different opinions, and everyone always will.
P.S. I wonder if Lockhart is related to Gilderoy? ;-)