Skip to comments.Convoluting Math - Betraying Our Children's Future
Posted on 07/28/2012 9:38:35 AM PDT by maggiesnotebook
More woeful elementary core curriculum education news from the state of Oklahoma, and specifically in Tulsa and surrounding areas. Headline: Elementary Test Results Dip, and they have dipped "to the lowest rates in years." The good news is, about 24 years ago, Tulsa schools took 6th graders out of elementary schools and moved them into what was transitioning from Junior High School to Middle School. That bright idea is apparently now being corrected and 6th graders are moving back to elementary school where they are better served. The fact is, students across the nation are failing in mathematics and science. Many High School graduates are put in remedial reading classes so they can qualify for college. Appalling. We have convoluted math to the extreme. Our education system continues to be in crisis as we pour billions and billions of dollars into teaching and administration. With half my brain tied behind my back, I know that funding is not the problem. The article and video below will raise your eyebrows, give you a migraine and if you care about your child's future, you will be madder than heck. It's one of the most important pieces I have read on education, other than Kevin Jennings moving out of Obama's Safe Schools Czar office. Please pass this to family and especially to parents who are dismayed at their child's lack of interest in mathematics.
The district's overall fourth-grade reading proficiency rate fell 10 percentage points to 42, and third-grade math is down 9 points to just 48 percent overall. Moderate losses were seen at the fifth-grade level, with math and reading proficiency down 6 and 5 points respectively to 52 percent and 49 percent overall.The New Math
Sixth-graders improved three points in both math and reading, to 54 and 53 percent, respectively. Source: Tulsa World
by Grumpy at Grumpy Opinions
Years ago when I got out of the service unemployment was high, and no one really wanted Vets, the general assumption was we were all crazy a slight exaggeration. The construction industry was a little different, cray was normal and it paid well, provided you were willing to get paid for what you produced, instead of the time you put in The only problem was you were on your own for things like insurance, and the winters were rough on cash flow. That was when I started learning there was more money in selling the materials, then there was in nailing it together..
A couple years later I was managing a lumber yard. One evening I wrote a guy up for 160 feet of baseboard molding, and set him to the kid in back to get loaded up.. and went back to what I was doing.. A couple minutes later the came to and asked how many pieces he should give the customer. The kid was eighteen and had graduated from High School less than a month before..
I looked at him and said Youve got sixteen footers back there, the stuffs in ten piece bundles, the customer has a racks on his truck, so sixteens are fine.
The pride of the local school system just stood there for a full minute looking at me, then he said Yeah, but how many pieces do I give him?
I had to explain to this kid, who had just Graduated High School that ten times sixteen equaled 160-
Over the years Ive heard people complain about the lack of very basic skills kids have when they finish High School. Educators have demanded and gotten more money, smaller class sizes and the latest and greatest in modern educational tools. The result is a lower quality finished product than we had fifty years and hundreds of billions of ago. Now weve gotten to the point that everyone is blaming everyone, the parents blame the schools and the teachers, In turn the schools and the teachers blame the parents.
Every year the experts come up with a new solution, but it will cost money. Somehow the experts dont get blamed they just get more money out of the deal.. Before we go any farther, take a look at the video.. The narrator gets much better as she gets into her subject, shes not so good at first.
Explaining New Math, no - really (video) Im not so sure if Id have been able to solve a simple multiplication problem if Id been taught bu any of those methods. However thats what the experts say works.. at least while theyre selling the school districts new curriculum models, and very expensive books to go with them.
I sat my almost eleven year old grandson down and we watched the video together, hes been taught everyone of the algorithms except the lattice method.. Then he laughed a little..
He told me last year as Floridas FCAT Testing Season was approaching his teacher was having a really hard time getting her students to understand the clusters, thingamajigs and whatevers the new math calls for.. She was getting desperate. Finally she said Screw this, and started erasing everything on the black board.
Then she said.. You dont have to show your work on the FCAT, let me show you how to do this stuff right. It didnt take long for the class to figure it out, when it was taught the way it had been for generations.. before the experts made it better.
Several years ago...I lived in Germany and was watching this TV show where businesses were inviting seventeen year-old kids out for job interviews. These all related simple jobs in bakeries, groceries, and beverage shops.
The bosses all had this ten question test that they used on the kids that showed up. They were questions like....if you only had half of three hours to do a job...how many minutes did this add up to? Nine of ten kids could not answer the question. One kid sat there for at least three minutes...finally converting the hours into minutes and coming to the answer of 120 minutes (wrong, I know).
So the bosses all turned to the reporter doing the piece, and said....these are all kids finishing up years in school, and ought to be able to do simple math. The simple truth was that they just couldn’t think and operate with common problems and math. If you had just said what was 180 minus 90...they’d all answer that quickly. They weren’t prepared for the real world.
I suspect that American educators are discovering the same thing. The answer here...is to start every kid by the third grade....doing business math applications on a routine basis. Sprinkle in geometric situations, and various other calculations. Math alone, is not enough....you need to think and use it in everyday life.
Is there a link to the video, or did I miss something?
The emphasis on math and science is the beginning of what is wrong. Those are just two forms of materialism that don’t develop thinking. We need to go back to the pre-Dewey methods of education, that emphasised reading and writing. I find it disturbing that every day on FR there are intelligent people who cannot make the plural of a noun correctly - it means that even though they see it written correctly in books and the media, it doesn’t sink in, because they don’t understand the rules of spelling and grammar that are - or should be - taught in third grade. (But apparently are not).
As I recall it was reading, writin and arithmetic.
And yes I know they are misspelled.
I have noted that most people that teach reading and writing have trouble dealing with simple ratios and percentages. And I don't see how emphasizing what you mention is going to help with peoples ability with math and science which are very important part of this complex society.
I don't disagree that what you say is important, just that you left out a very important cog.
video - seen it before - it’s astounding how they are teaching math...
This looks like a thread for WINTERTIME!!! (part of the title of one of my favorite songs, by The Fenestrations [Doors, for those of you in Rio Linda]).
Anyone on this site that still trusts the DRUGGIE, SEX-CRAZED, Ed School college graduates to teach their kids reading and math (i.e., public school teachers), might just as well have the neighborhood pedophile drive their kids home from school (and one can reasonably argue that the pedophile would be more interested in the kid’s success than one of those Marxists, posing as teachers).
That video is close to going viral. If it did, MILLIONS of parents would WAKE UP to just what these schools are doing to their kids.
But, for now, they still live in their own dream world.
That was my first thought, too. Students are always asking, “When am I ever going to need to know this?” Math should be taught using real world applications.
Then again, math textbooks already include word problems - for real-life situations. Maybe the real reason is that students are held to standards that are too low.
The problem with American K-12 education is that almost every one of the several states has granted a monopoly on producing “qualified” or “certified” teachers to colleges of education. Colleges of education have been a bastion of stupid, left-leaning ideas since the time of John Dewey (remember he called his ideas “Progressive Education”) and got worse with the importation of Vygotsky’s ideas (”social construction of knowledge”) from the Soviet Union.
Mostly their pedagogical ideas (hands on learning, group work, exploration leanring, ‘look-say’, . . .) would work as nice add-ons to straight-up old fashioned 19th-century-American or early-to-mid-20th-century-British-style education, but are absolute disasters when substituted for actually learning facts, phonics, standard arithmetic algorithms and the like. Their ideas of using schools for anything other than education (building self-esteem — which incidentally is a vice — providing social services, psychological services and the like) are actively harmful.
In mathematics (my own area), another problem is that optimal education takes more time than we’re willing as a society to devote to it, and requires teachers from the early grades on who actually understand mathematics (instead of the math-phobic ditzes who constitute 85% of the population of ed majors). Ideally, each topic should begin with a bit of exploration (this really requires the teacher to know mathematics well), then proceed to teach the facts or standard algorithm *with an explanation of why it works* and ideally *why it is superior to what the student came up with while exploring*, then have a fair bit of rote drill, followed by applying the topic to something interesting (again probably requiring a mathematically or scientifically savvy teacher). If we have to leave any of that out for time considerations, the initial exploration goes first, followed by cutting down the amount of rote drill a bit.
Of course, the Vygotskians want to keep the exploration part, and eliminate the rote drill entirely, and an awful lot of elementary ed majors aren’t competent to lead the exploration, explain why the algorithms work, or recognize why or whether the standard algorithm is superior to what a bright student came up with on his or her own.
We need a handful of right-leaning states to upset the “progressive” status quo by breaking the college of ed monopoly, setting up rigorous math, science, literacy, American and world history and civics standards, howls from the education establishment be damned. Oklahoma seems like a good place to start.
My wife is a teacher educator. Many of her students headed for elementary schools, “hate” math and/or are “afraid of math”. When they come to her classroom that is. Not so much when they leave. She’s the math specialist in her small department (and the chair too). She changed the requirements so that those headed for middle or high school also must take “teaching elementary math”, so that if, as happens too often, the kids come to them deficient or “hating” or “afraid”, they can figure out what went wrong earlier, and fix it.
She’s only one teacher educator, in a small program. But when I think of how many kids are not exposed to a teacher in elementary school who can’t do, “hates” or “is afraid of” math because of her efforts, plus those who where her elementary students when she was in the public school classrom, the numbers get rather large. Still just a drop in the bucket, but still quite a legacy to have.
You misunderstood what I wrote, and possibly cannot understand the very idea - without reading comprehension, which takes a lot of reading and a lot of training - the students don’t learn how to think. You make my case for me
Thanks. I have also seen it before but now I have it bookmarked.
I remember (its been some years ago) reading a book by Thomas Sowell about education in this country. His first idea for helping to create more competent teachers was to eliminate the Bachelor’s degree in Education. Basically, you get a Bachelor’s degree in something like Math, Computer Science, History, etc. Then, you get either a certificate or a Master’s degree in Education. He believed that this would improve the quality of teachers that are teaching our kids.
Multiplication is a subset of math - so yes they are teaching math.
math is what you learn after you know arithmetic
at least that is the way it was defined and taught when i went to school... but then again we learned times tables back then too
Modern government schooling was, since its inception in the mid-1800s, a **SOCIALIST entitlement. Nothing good can come from that. If they seemed to function somewhat well in previous decades it is due to the values of the teachers and principals in the system. For example, my father, born in 1913, was raised in a home with his grandparents. His grandfather served in the Civil War. By the 1970s this generation of teachers was retiring. They were the glue that held together an already crippled socialist system of schooling.