Skip to comments.Are you a MATH HATER? Gov. Brown Forgives & Defends you! Enter; Ca. Senate Bill 1200-Loni Hancock
Posted on 02/09/2013 2:59:19 PM PST by San Rafael Blue
Guess What? I'm not a genius. Let's get that subjectivity out of the way. I was never a good math student back in the 70's, but, I struggled through, sometimes surprising myself with successful comprehension. I have great respect levened with healthy envy for those who are fluent in 'The Maths'.
I loved, and still do love words or visual art when used to express, speculate or elucidate. With that disclaimer, I must now express concern over the further lowered standards now being set into place by the 'Honorable(?) Gov. Jerry Brown in Ca. The legislative tool is Senate Bill 1200, promoted by Loni Hancock, California Dem.
The standards are now rolled back to acceptable levels of long ago. Why was this done? Well, because so many ,SO MANY little kids either could not or would not pass their math tests. It was making the highly esteemed school system (read union captains and paid off admin.) look bad, even FEEL bad. So obviously, draconian changes in the dynamics, in the dogma are now justified, perhaps even obligatory and patriotic!
I empathize with those who stay away from math, in all it's icky, tricky, fool-exposing forms. I understand the perils and the risks. I also know our way of life will increasingly depend on people who are able to navigate the numbers. So the question remains. How do we inspire more children and former children to get a better grip on basic math such as Algebra or Geometry? I can only say that main way I justified becoming the Artful Dodger back in High School, and avoiding as many math classes as possible (and still graduating at 17 years old), was to say "This schoolroom Math is NOT going to be relevant to my life once I escape the confines of High School. To a large extent, I was correct. However, I have limited myself.
Nowadays, I try to take online courses to get better. I think the only time I have ever 'enjoyed' math was back in the 80's when I wished to learn how to sell stocks and mutual funds. Back then, one needed to earn a Series 7 license. Some people will immediately know what I'm talking about. I never did earn my Series 7 license, but I did enjoy learning about puts and margin calls, and ways to secure gold future options.
But the question remains, how can we make math matter to these school kids who don't naturally 'take to the deep waters' of mathmatics?
There are several things that need to be accepted about eduction. The first is that dyslexia and related conditions are huge barriers to reading, reading comprehension, and enjoying reading. These conditions absolutely must be diagnosed and dealt with at the earliest possible age, or students with them are terribly handicapped.
However, this is a correctable condition. There are also conditions that cannot be corrected, which brings us to math and other abstracts, like reading music.
There are some children whose brains are naturally wired to understand and use abstracts. But there are many whose brains are not wired to do so, and for whom learning those subjects beyond basic fundamentals, is useless and painful.
That is, they cannot be trained to understand more than just basic ideas, such as addition, subtraction, multiplication and division, fractions, and some geometry and very basic algebra.
A similar rule also applies to learning foreign languages. Some students are just incapable of doing so.
Importantly, this does not mean that they are not smart, capable or talented, just that if they are, it will be in different ways.
The time will come that math will become an elective in an engineering curriculum.
The typical kid today can’t even read his high school diploma.Why in God’s name should we be requiring him/her to be able to add and subtract?
Thanks, South40! I thought I was hearing James Taylor singing a Reggae song, turned out to be Mr. Pina Colada!
Nice bouncy 4/4 rhythm too. My Earworm Du Jour.
Math as an elective for an Engineering Major?! O.M.G., I probably should not be laughing. That, my friend is what they call appealing to the Lowest Common Denominator, what the merciful, enlighted folks now call, the Low Information Voter. They don’t know, and they DON’T WANT TO KNOW.
I seriously cannot understand why anyone would find math difficult. It is logical and elegant. To me, there is nothing more beautiful than understanding the fundamental reality of the world around us through mathematics.
The math curriculum should not be dumbed down. What they need to do is hire more inspired teachers who can help the kids to see and understand the relation between the written number system, and the real world being described by that system. We all fundamentally understand mathematics, and constantly do computations in our brains without even thinking about it. Even animals instinctively understand math.
Just as we use written letters to visualize language, we use written numbers to visualize physical reality. It’s not difficult; kids only need good teachers who understand that.
Math and science have/contain absolutes. Liberals hate subjects that are well, not subjective.
Just today I saw a scene on HGTV where some guy was trying to show a young woman ( A phys ed teacher ) how to cut some boards. He wanted her to measure “something and 5/8” inches, but she declared herself unable to understand 5/8. He asked her to try, and she pointed to 5/16. “No, he said, that’s 5/16.” She actually started to count off 5/8, but lost her way at around 3/8. “Oh! I can’t do math!” she exclaimed, “I’m just a phys ed teacher!”
So you see, it’s not really about MATH, is it?
So???....I wonder. How many times has this math phobic idiots said this to her students?
I was an after-school tutor for the children in my church. The administrator of the program was a math phobic third grade government teacher who absolutely had NO clue about fractions.
Honestly....I think **all** government school teachers should be required to take Calculus and pass it with a minimum of a B. They should sit in the **same** classes as the math, science, and engineering students. Yes, I know. Most government teachers do not need that level of math to do their job...BUT...requiring Calculus would help guarantee two things:
1)It would weed out the low scoring ACT/SAT/GRE students in the teaching colleges and would help assure that teachers entering the government schools are smart enough to deserve the generous salary, benefits, and retirement given to them by the taxpayers.
2) Would help eliminate math phobic teachers from ever standing in front of a classroom.
Personally, when I meet a teacher, their very likely LOW SAT/ACT scores are in the back of mind, and I usually assume they are math idiots. Yes, Yes, someone is sure to say, “My wife( mother, sister, husband, father, cousin, etc) is a teacher and they are very **smart**!” Well! If they are smart , then some other teacher is **very** STUPID because, on average the SAT, ACT, and even GRE scores of teachers are the lowest on campus.
Oh, yeah? Take a look at What is Mathematics, Really? by Reuben Hersh ... just for one example.
Please read my post#12.
( I don't dare use the acronym for this list since it is possible that a government school defender will think the acronym is pornographic and report me to the administrator in an effort to have me banned. )
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So the kids aren't dooing well in math.
So the solution is to lower the standards instead of actually teaching them something.
That's the ticket.
And then we encourage them to rack up huge debt to go to college. What a country!!!
>something and 5/8 inches, but she declared herself unable to understand 5/8.<
I really don’t blame her.
Why should anything be divided in eight parts? Can’t they keep it simply as a whole? Life is difficult enough.
Thanks for the Hersh link. Especially enjoyable was the dialogue with Laura. (I always had to put forth a lot of effort in math—some of us have faulty hard wiring.)
Hi Tzar, Allow me to refer you to a clear and concise online source that explains this better than I could;
ED SOURCE, dated 9/5/12, written by John Fenstervald.
If I have the correct understanding, this bill 1200 mainly effects children in 6th and 7th grades. It’s approval will stop the teaching some of introductory courses to Algebra 1.
These introductory courses, or pre-algebras are actually duplicates, redundant courses, which mirror what is taught (and required) in the 8th grade. The presumption since the 1990’s has been that its’ wise to teach these basic algebraic skills to students as young as possible, in order to prepare them for the ‘rigors’ of their 8th grade tasks.
Why should anything be divided in eight parts? Cant they keep it simply as a whole? Life is difficult enough.
Wow! ( sigh!)
You didn’t read his tagline, I’ll bet.
Thanks for the warning. No, I did not read the tagline.
This was one of two books ( I forget the other ) that I recommended some fifteen years ago, I think, to my public library that they purchase, via a standard form they had, and they got both of them!
Well, I remembered “Reuben” when I did a search, but I didn’t remember Laura. So, thanks for mentioning her. I note that in the dialogue, Laura toes the canonical line, and it is the author that blows the circuit.
Naysayer that I am, I think he’s peddling sophistry.
Buns and Burgers! A very creative Equivalency Chart. I like it. Many of us in WhoVille continue to think in terms of hieroglyphics anyway.
Yes (sigh), and it gets even worse when they start didviding things into 16 parts.
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