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What are people's feelings about questions which are about education or pedagogy, but not specific to mathematics? An example I have in mind is this question, which could apply equally well to any field in which factual questions are asked.

Personally I'm inclined to be as inclusive as possible — at least as long as the site doesn't become so full of general-pedagogy questions that it loses interest for people interested in math pedagogy, which seems like a very unlikely scenario anyway.

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  • $\begingroup$ Very good point! Is there already a SE which includes general pedagogy questions? $\endgroup$ – Markus Klein Mar 15 '14 at 8:37
  • $\begingroup$ I don't know. There is academia.SE which sometimes involves pedagogical issues, but I'm not sure how welcome undergraduate-level pedagogy questions are there, and pre-university pedagogy would definitely be considered off-topic. $\endgroup$ – Mark Meckes Mar 15 '14 at 8:42
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I think that this kind of question is warranted, since while it may not be specific for math education, the question itself is relevant for math education.

The fact that the people who answer have a very specific knowledge and experience in math education (and not just general pedagogics/didactics) can make the answers specific for math education. If this is not possible, then the quesion is probably off-topic.

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  • $\begingroup$ Most of these questions are specific to the ways that a math class is taught. Either by how the exams are set up or how a class is managed which would be a non-issue in, for example, a language arts class. $\endgroup$ – David G Mar 21 '14 at 13:31
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Until a general Education site appears (which may never happen), we should allow all questions that are directly applicable toteaching math, even if they lack math-specific content.

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I was also worried when I posted the mentioned question. And I would also have decided where to draw the line at such questions since the topic of the site should be mathematics.

However, I think a question about the exam is not too off-topic:

Often, an non-answerable question is due to forgotten assumption on given objects or due to the lack of specific knowledge (theorems or methods) which is unknown to the students. Maybe, there is an overlap with science-related subjects, but in math-unrelated fields (law, history, language studies, etc.) the main task in exams is to argue (or translate). I can't imagine that there is an non-answerable question (in that sense) in such subjects.

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  • $\begingroup$ Any field involving facts has the potential for such questions, by asking a question based on a false premise. For a silly example: "Who was the first prime minister of the United States?" Granted, such straightforward questions play a smaller role in non-mathematical subjects, but they are possible. $\endgroup$ – Mark Meckes Mar 15 '14 at 8:39
  • $\begingroup$ Another mechanism for such a problem is for a question to be accidentally included which relates to material that has not yet appeared in the course. $\endgroup$ – Mark Meckes Mar 15 '14 at 8:40
  • $\begingroup$ Okay, I see your point. This is rather on the edge and should be defined by the community if it is off-topic or not. $\endgroup$ – Markus Klein Mar 15 '14 at 8:45

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