Theorems Without Thought
Conceptual understanding is overrated. It’s clearly better to teach rote algorithms without comprehension, so long as they can be repeated with minimal effort. Right?
I learned this poem a long time ago…
Ours is not to reason why;
Just invert and multiply!
But this one was new to me…
Minus times minus is equal to plus.
The reasons for this we need not discuss.
Here’s a limerick that provides the formula for a sphere without explanation…
A great circle inside a sphere
Has an area, it would appear,
Exactly one quarter —
Not longer or shorter —
Of that of the sphere. Is that clear?
And I really like this poem of a woman who doesn’t believe everything she’s told…
“Since day follows night,” they told Fawn,
“It is darkness that causes the dawn.”
But Fawn said her cat
Followed her, too, and that
Didn’t prove that the cat’s caused by Fawn.