By Nathalie Sinclair
FNathalie Sinclair makes a compelling case for the inclusion of the cultured within the instructing and studying of arithmetic, and illuminates how the fabrics and ways we use within the arithmetic lecture room may be enriched for the good thing about all rookies.
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He argues that such rules account for many aesthetic predispositions and preferences. For instance, studies in human facial recognition show that humans are particularly drawn to right-left symmetry (as opposed to updown symmetry or no symmetry at all). Finding such symmetry provides the simplest (shortest) descriptions of faces and even of bodies—and thus makes such stimuli easier to encode and recall. It should not be surprising then that Zoe (the student described in Chapter 1), for example, exhibited an attraction to symmetry.
But aesthetic judgments can also occur during an inquiry, as a result of the resolution of tension for each subproblem. They constitute a series of landmarks in the progress of the undertaking. In fact, Dewey (1934) remarks that they are so important that “their function of being clews [sic] and giving direction that the sense of 26 Mathematics and Beauty: Aesthetic Approaches to Teaching Children harmony which attends them is too readily taken as evidence of truth of the subject-matter involved” (p.
A “SENSE OF ORDER” Pinker and Dissanayake are both concerned with the consequential dimension of human behavior—that is, the way in which “making special” and “registering enabling acts” form the basis for aesthetic sensibility. However, there are other ways of thinking about the role of the aesthetic in human experience and inquiry. For example, Edward Wilson (1998), a scientist, and Ernst Gombrich (1979), an art historian, were both interested in the causal dimension of human behavior—that is, the way in which aesthetic sensibility is used in anticipation during acts of perception and cognition.