His view was that subjects should be taught to students based on their direct practical value, or if students independently wanted to learn those subjects.
There should no more be conflict between content and pedagogy than between one's right foot and left foot.They should work in tandem toward the same end, and avoid tripping each other. If content decisions come first, then the choices of pedagogy may be limited.In his 27 years at Teachers College, he taught some 35,000 students and was described by the New York Post as "the million dollar professor" because the fees paid by his students to the college exceeded this amount.In some instances there were more than 650 students in a single one of his auditorium sized classes.Broadly speaking, the education wars of the past century are best understood as a protracted struggle between content and pedagogy.
At first glance, such a dichotomy seems unthinkable.The next section provides a brief overview of some of the important historical trends and policies leading up to the events of the 1980s and 90s.Historical Outline: 1920 to 1980 It would be a mistake to think of the major conflicts in education as disagreements over the most effective ways to teach. The list of signatories included seven Nobel laureates and winners of the Fields Medal, the highest international award in mathematics, as well as math department chairs of many of the top universities in the country, and several state and national education leaders. This led to organized parental rebellions and criticisms of the new math curricula by mathematicians and other professionals. Education Secretary Richard Riley called for an end to the "math wars" in a speech before a joint meeting of the American Mathematical Society and the Mathematical Association of America, he could not have known that within two years, the department he directed would become the focus of the very math wars he sought to quell. Within a month of that release, 200 university mathematicians added their names to an open letter to Secretary Riley calling upon his department to withdraw those recommendations. Secretary of Education had himself become embroiled in the nation's math wars. The immediate cause of the math wars of the 90s was the introduction and widespread distribution of new math textbooks with radically diminished content, and a dearth of basic skills. Department of Education recommended to the nation's 15,000 school districts a list of math books, including several that had been sharply criticized by mathematicians and parents of school children across the country for much of the preceding decade. public schools have never been more contentious than they were during the decade of the 1990s.