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Proposal: Mathematics Learning, Studying, and Education

Some other possible names for this site:

Mathematics Education

Mathematics Teaching and Learning

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Edit on 2/1: For reference, here are all of the proposed names so far:

  1. Mathematics Learning, Studying, and Education (the current name)

  2. Mathematics Education

  3. Mathematics Teaching and Learning

  4. Mathematics Teaching

  5. Mathematics Teaching and Pedagogy

  6. Teaching Mathematics

  7. Didactics of Mathematics

  8. Pedagogy of Mathematics

  9. Mathematics Pedagogy (which I am proposing just now)

My opinion is still that "Mathematics Teaching" and "Mathematics Education" are the best of these. As I explain below, I don't like the words "learning" or "studying" in (1) or (3). I would be reasonably happy with (5), (8), or (9). I don't like (6) because "Teaching Mathematics Stack Exchange" has an odd ring to it, and I don't like (7) because I think "didactics" is a somewhat obscure word. (It is a roughly synonym for "pedagogy", but has less than 10% as many Google hits.)

Original Post: The goal for the name should be to distinguish it from Mathematics Stack Exchange and Math Overflow. If this site becomes at all popular (i.e. visible on Google), it's going to be a constant problem that students post mathematics questions to this site, which will then need to be migrated to Math Stack Exchange.

In this context, I think the best name would be something like "Mathematics Teaching" or "Mathematics Education". I think it's very dangerous to include the word "learning" -- not because I disagree that learning is an important thing to discuss, but because including the word "learning" will have a practical, detrimental effect on the site.

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    I'm with Jim here. I view this as a community for educators. There would probably be some questions which are also useful for self-studiers, but I want a place to talk about how to teach math to others. – DES-SupportsMonicaAndTransfolk Jan 25 '14 at 19:16
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    Perhaps "Mathematics Teaching and Pedagogy"? That seems like it would perfectly capture the idea of the site. – Mike Miller Jan 25 '14 at 20:21
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    Yes, no learning in the title, please. And I am even worried regarding the word 'teaching' The site should not be for teaching math (but only about teaching math, but this could be very unclear). – quid Jan 25 '14 at 22:41
  • I also agree with this point. After several years of experience on math.SE I've learned that most people don't really understand what "mathematics education" means: that tag is often used on that site by newcomers with the meaning "Teach me the answer to my math question." I think that it is probably dangerous to have "Learning" in the name of the site for that reason. – Pete L. Clark Jan 28 '14 at 6:06
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    Also, I don't mean this to be overly divisive, but I see "students and teachers of mathematics" as most naturally dividing into two communities, not one (although everyone with membership in the second community has or had membership in the first). The open secret of math.SE is that, increasingly, the questions are asked by members of the first community and answered by members of the second community. I think that targeting the second community and not the first seems like a key part of what would distinguish this site from math.SE. – Pete L. Clark Jan 28 '14 at 6:09
  • How should we vote for these? Perhaps a new question, with these listed as answers, and people upvote the answers? – Mike Miller Feb 2 '14 at 2:22
  • @Mike Something like that ought to work. Of course, quid suggested two days ago that we should postpone voting for a while. – Jim Belk Feb 2 '14 at 3:48
  • Personally I think a discussion about education by teachers without input from the people they're trying to teach is in danger of becoming vacuous. Students don't just have questions, they have opinions about education. In universities we expect them to be adults. – Geoff Pointer Feb 16 '14 at 2:07
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How about Teaching Mathematics so that the emphasis is on the teaching?

  • I would like to withdraw this suggestion, as it might lead people to think that it is a site where they teach mathematics. – Joel Reyes Noche Feb 3 '14 at 6:50
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I vote for Mathematics Teaching and Learning.

  • I agree. And description should say "For those interested in the process of teach and/or learn math." along those lines. – leo Jan 27 '14 at 4:25
  • Personally I think whatever name you choose the dangers being expressed will still be there. The good point being made here is that using the word "learning" is just as much about how learning occurs and can be assisted not just about specific points of content. – Geoff Pointer Feb 16 '14 at 2:12
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How about Didactics of Mathematics or something similar?

  • Cute, but I'd say too cute for its own good. It doesn't immediately convey the point of the site, I don't think. – Mike Miller Jan 27 '14 at 15:05
  • @Mike To me this is the clearest name of all. By contrast mathematics education did take a bit of getting used to. And teaching and learning have problematic other aspcts. Didactics and peadagogy would IMO best to use, in combination with math of course. The start of en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mathematics_education could explain different perceptions here – quid Jan 30 '14 at 15:45
  • @quid I see your point. However, I now disagree with this name for a different reason (Pete Clark's comment above): we should aim at educators, not learners. So perhaps Pedagogy of Mathematics? – Mike Miller Jan 30 '14 at 19:55
  • @Mike I think I completely agree with Pete L. Clark. But to me didactics and pedagogy are really almost completely the same thing; in particular if modified with math. Especially, to me didactics is the science/craft/art of teaching something and if anything rather more theoretical than pedagogy; which feels somewhat more soft and more geared towards teahcing children (already from the roor of the word). So to me 'didactics' is really the most theroretical. But perhaps this is not so in English. – quid Jan 30 '14 at 20:31
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    @quid As it turns out, I hadn't even known the definition of didactics (mistook it as 'learners', confusing the word with perhaps 'autodidacts'). So this is my error. But as far as I can tell, didactics and pedagogy are synonyms. – Mike Miller Jan 30 '14 at 20:51
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Do there already exist stackexchange sites (or proposals) on teaching and learning in some other area? If so, maybe ask them about good ways to phrase the name.

added

Looking through the Area 51 list, I got these:

Education

Academia

English Language Learners

  • The first, being only education, has not the issue of confusion we are worried about. The last seems to be a site quite different from the one envisioned; mainly it seems to serve as example that we should not use 'learning'. The middle one is in a sort of differetnt category and I think its name does not help much here. – quid Jan 30 '14 at 21:15
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    Hmm ... "Education" says it will allow questions on math education. If both they and we succeed, there will be two places for such questions. If only one succeeds, that will be the place for our questions. – GEdgar Jan 30 '14 at 22:46
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How about Learning Mathematics?

After all, I think it is about learning/understanding/discovering mathematics by students, teachers, educators and simply mathematically curious people. My apologies if I am bringing more confusion to the topic.

  • Sorry if I should post this at some other place; still figuring my way around these pages. – Mara Mar 5 '14 at 21:09
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    Welcome to the site! We have recently completed a community vote on the name, which resulted in a name change to "Mathematics Educators". – Jim Belk Mar 5 '14 at 21:49
  • @JimBelk Thanks. It will do :) – Mara Mar 6 '14 at 4:40
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    @Mara: Apart from this ship having sailed, this name would suffer even more than other suggestions from attracting the wrong people, i.e., those who have questions about mathematics and not about learning mathematics. – Wrzlprmft Mar 6 '14 at 19:41

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