Students are no longer seen as part of the solution, but as part of the problem, and textbooks and lecturing techniques have become so condescending that, if I were a student, I would take offence. I don’t think that I could stand a lecturer that assumes that my attention span is no more than 7 minutes or who feels obliged to feed me a cartoon every 5 foils, and subjects me to multiple-choice tests because I am supposed to be functionally illiterate. I invite you to read carefully the catalogues of publishers of mathematical textbooks: obviously, colour math is better than B&W math, most books are recommended for being intuitive instead of formal, for being chatty instead of crisp, for being vague and sloppy instead of rigorous. It is clearly an article of the New Faith that teaching the real thing would be counter-productive: just as our students are supposed to live on junk food, they are supposed to thrive on junk science.

EWD #1298

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