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Normative and Analytical Math

It is too easy to try to teach normative content analytically, especially because that is how we learned and how we are taught to teach. But what might happen if we teach dialectically or mimetically instead? What might go wrong?

I think for example of how we tend to teach math and science, both of which are more analytical than, say, literature by their very natures. But that doesn’t mean they should be taught in non-normative ways.

What’s the difference? I would suggest that it can be summed up in the teacher’s response to the student’s utilitarian question: “what am I going to do with Algebra?”

The analytical/utilitarian teacher will say something like, “You might get a job with it someday.”

The normative teacher will say, and will teach accordingly, “It will enable you to see truths you can’t see any other way; it will give you eyes to see reality; it will enable you to better enjoy Christ. Do you need a currency exchange?”

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