11
$\begingroup$

What are the rules that a self-learner should follow to ask good questions in this site?

| |
$\endgroup$
10
$\begingroup$

In my opinion, almost all questions that a self-learner is likely to have would be better on Math Stack Exchange. These include all questions about mathematics itself, as well as many questions on how to learn mathematics best.

That being said, there are some questions which are more about pedagogy than about mathematics itself. As a self learner, part of your job is to design a curriculum for yourself, and curriculum questions are certainly on topic here. It would also be on-topic to ask questions about pedagogical choices made by textbook, i.e. why are things presented in a certain order, or why are certain topics included.

So, here are some questions I can imagine a self-learner asking that would be relevant here:

  1. What kinds of mathematics would be helpful for an architecture major?

  2. Does it make more sense to learn linear algebra before multivariable calculus?

  3. Why do books on trigonometry start with right triangles, and only move on to the unit circle later?

  4. Why do calculus textbooks cover numerical techniques of integration?

  5. What parts of math should I review before taking a calculus course?

| |
$\endgroup$
  • $\begingroup$ While some of these questions are at least partially relevant to math educators, 3 and 4 are the only ones that seem to be directly related to teaching math and thereby on-topic. The rest seem like they would be better answered through other means. $\endgroup$ – David G Mar 17 '14 at 5:30
  • $\begingroup$ @Skytso That's a perfectly reasonable opinion, although I would argue that #2 is certainly on-topic since it touches on curricular design. #1 is relevant to advising students, which may or may not be on topic, while #5 is very similar in spirit to this question, though obviously phrased quite differently. Overall, I'd say we should be patient with questions from self-learners as long as they have the potential to generate relevant answers. $\endgroup$ – Jim Belk Mar 17 '14 at 5:49
3
$\begingroup$

This site is for people who teach mathematics to ask each other questions about the best way to teach. If you are learning mathematics by yourself and you want to ask questions about mathematics, then you should ask at https://math.stackexchange.com/ rather than here. If you are in some other situation, then you should explain in more detail.

| |
$\endgroup$
  • $\begingroup$ I've seen some self-learning questions at the definitions phase of this SE, but why wouldn't self-learning questions be allowed since a self-learner is by definition a teacher and a student? $\endgroup$ – حكيم الفيلسوف الضائع Mar 16 '14 at 19:10
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ I would be hard-pressed to acknowledge that a self-learner is a teacher. They are learning from a textbook or course that is designed by an educator. They are not in fact teaching themselves other than facilitating their own learning. As Jim mentioned, there are some questions that a self-learner could have that are relevant, but not many. $\endgroup$ – David G Mar 17 '14 at 5:32
2
$\begingroup$

As Niel has pointed out this site if for questions about mathematics education. We are interested in, for example, ways in which to improve mathematics education. We are not about mathematics per se, but the subject is teaching/communicating/learning mathematics.

If you are trying to teach yourself various theories of learning and you would like to ask about how this might be applicable for mathematics, then this is just the place to be. If you are interested in methods of self-learning, then I would also say that you have come to the right place. I don't know that there are any specific rules that you need to follow. As long as you stay on-topic then that is fine. In general you cam ask questions about anything that you have thought about and would like an answer to. So, if you have a question about ways to teach yourself mathematics, I think that would be a great question. You might, of course, want to be a bit more specific. So, maybe you could ask a question about good books for teaching yourself group theory. Or you could ask for how time is best spent in trying to teach yourself a topic.

If you are trying to teach yourself mathematics, then math.SE would be better since that site is specifically about mathematics.

| |
$\endgroup$
  • $\begingroup$ Well self-learning is a type of education that involves teaching and communicating. No, I'm not asking about how theories are applicable, I'm asking about education for a self-learner. $\endgroup$ – حكيم الفيلسوف الضائع Mar 16 '14 at 19:32
  • $\begingroup$ @حكيمالفيلسوفالضائع: Again, if you are interested in self-learning, then that is fine. But, again, if you are interested in teaching yourself mathematics and you need help with specific math problems, then math.SE is the place. Does that make sense? $\endgroup$ – Thomas Mar 16 '14 at 19:33
  • $\begingroup$ Yes, but I already knew that. What I'm asking for is tips for asking good questions about self-learning. $\endgroup$ – حكيم الفيلسوف الضائع Mar 16 '14 at 19:36
  • $\begingroup$ @حكيمالفيلسوفالضائع : I don't know that there are any specific rules that you need to follow. As long as you stay on-topic then that is fine. In general you cam ask questions about anything that you have thought about and would like an answer to. So, if you have a question about ways to teach yourself mathematics, I think that would be a great question. (You might, of course, want to be a bit more specific). $\endgroup$ – Thomas Mar 16 '14 at 19:38

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .