Tuesday, December 20, 2016

There are No "Problems" in Math

I just came across this quote in an email that came from NCTM.  It made me stop and instantly think about what was written.

There are no problems in math.  There are only questions, inquiries, challenges, discoveries, etc. 
I hope I am quoting this correctly but it came from an email from NCTM talking about the upcoming conference.  In it was a link to Ed Burger's blog.  It is from that blog that I am quoting this excerpt...

Acknowledging the Only “Real World Problem” We Face in Mathematics

By Edward B. Burger 
November 15, 2016
For years I have argued that there are no “problems” in mathematics—there are "questions," "challenges," "conundrums," and even "riddles." Given that most people either live with "mathphobia" or belong to the “I hate math” club, it makes little sense that we would use such a negatively charged word to describe those joyful activities that promote the learning of mathematics. I regularly challenge educators to remove the word "problem" from their mathematical lexicon. There certainly are problems in our world, but, blissfully, there are no problems in mathematics.