A mathematician’s lament / 1st ed.
New York : Bellevue Literary Press, 2009.
As a mathematician I struggle with the role of mathematics in general education. There are such a variety of things that fall under the heading “mathematics” — numeracy, quantitative literacy, problem solving skills and abstract thinking, in addition to many, many specific mathematical topics that are prerequisites for various courses of study, and so on. Furthermore there is “mathematics as mathematicians experience it,” as an arena for play and exploration and discovery — mathematics as art. Lockhart brings both research and K-12 teaching experience to the table, and pulls no punches in his analysis. His views are controversial, but he does a great job of raising some of the most important issues about mathematics education today, and especially mathematics education for the “general audience” (as opposed to those who intend to specialize in math or math-heavy fields).
This book is an expansion of an essay of the same name (commonly referred to as “Lockhart’s Lament”), which can be viewed here: http://www.maa.org/devlin/LockhartsLament.pdf