# [Maths-Education] Money Counts

**John & Kath Truran**
truranjk@camtech.net.au

*Tue, 7 Nov 2000 06:56:21 +1030*

Rosalie Dance has suggested that I seem to be saying that " our teaching
should not suggest to students that mathematics is 'about' anything" and
that such an approach is a great turn-off for many students".
This is almost certainly a very good point, as is her comment that "we need
a wide range of intellectually engaging contexts".
I have been trying not to be too absolute in my statements just because
points like these are also relevant. My specific concrn in comenting on
"Money Counts" was that it could easily become ideologically driven, rather
than mathematically driven, and not provide that "intellectually engaging
context" which I believe is important. I was also concerned to provide a
balance to the current bias away from pure mathematics, even though this
too can provide an intellectually engaging context.
I was certainly producing a conservative response because I am conscious in
my own country of how good mathematics (dare I say accurate mathematics) is
so often disregarded by teachers (at all levels) and by
administrators/politicians. Perhaps the question I have been feeling
towards is really one about whether mathematics knowledge really does make
a difference in this world (at least at the level of ordinary people) and
how it is possible to demonstrate this to students.
This os not very well put, but I would be very interested to read case
studies of where sound mathematical arguments were actually listened to by
people who initially had different agendas from the answers.
John Truran
PO Box 157
Goodwood
South Australia 5034
+618 8373 0490 ph
truranjk@camtech.net.au