Teaching Math the Liberal Way

red states rule

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This was sent to me by a teacher friend of mine. While it is funny it is, sadly, true


the evolution in teaching math since the 1950s thanks to liberals and the NEA



Teaching Math In 1950

A logger sells a truckload of lumber for $100. His
cost of production is 4/5 of the price. What is his
profit?



Teaching Math In 1960

A logger sells a truckload of lumber for $100. His
cost of production is 4/5 of the price, or $80. What
is his profit?



Teaching Math In 1970

A logger sells a truckload of lumber for $100. His
cost of production is $80. Did he make a profit?


Teaching Math In 1980

A logger sells a truckload of lumber for $100. His
cost of production is $80 and his profit is $20 Your
assignment: Underline the number 20.


Teaching Math In 1990

A logger cuts down a beautiful forest because he is
selfish and inconsiderate and cares nothing for the
habitat of animals or the preservation of our
woodlands. He does this so he can make a profit of
$20. What do you think of this way of making a living?
Topic for class participation after answering the
question: How did the birds and squirrels feel as the
logger cut down their homes? (There are no wrong
answers.)


Teaching Math In 2006

Un ranchero vende una carretera de maderapara $100. El
cuesto de la produccion era $80. Cuantos tortillas se
puede comprar?
 

Annie

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I NEVER tire of posting the truth about libs and how the have fucked up the world
Actually the mathematics teachers on the collegiate level have been trying to fix this for years. Guess who's 'fighting' them? You got it, education departments at universities throughout the country:

http://www.edweek.org/ew/articles/2...+PeMN4Sj3EQv/guNVuOKNB3RSQJGxCtgbHM9nn1taDQ==

This is a subscription only site, (I belong and can view 2 articles per week). I will not post in entirety, but enough for readers to get the gist:

Mathematics and the Pure in Heart
Not Yet Ready to ‘Make Nice’ in the Math Wars
By T.C. O’Brien

One might reasonably assume that the math wars have died down. From occasional newspaper reports, one might have the impression that the sides have agreed to make nice.

Not so.

The National Mathematics Advisory Panel, established by the Bush administration in April of last year, has been meeting to discuss the improvement of achievement in mathematics in the schools. A good portion of its members have no experience in mathematics, no experience teaching children, or both.
—Susan Sanford

Transcripts published on the U.S. Department of Education’s Web site reveal the disdain and/or lack of knowledge many panelists have regarding the past 20 years of reform in K-12 mathematics.

Many of these advances enjoyed the support of the National Science Foundation. But the role of the NSF, a nonpartisan leader in the support of high-quality curriculum development in math and science for 50 years, is under grave threat.

And throughout the nation, there are groups with anti-reform goals. Organized with fiery zealousness, messages mounted on Web sites in various states, these groups exist to influence parents and school districts to eliminate reform programs, curricula, even language (such as “constructivist”).

One label for these people is “purist.” For example, the person or curriculum that answers the question “What comes next: 2, 4, 6, 8, _?” with 10 is viewed as beneath contempt because, as research mathematicians have known since the Norwegian mathematician Niels Henrik Abel (1802-1829), any number could fit. (The pattern could be “four consecutive even numbers, then jump 100, then continue with the next four consecutive even numbers.”) Many of the usual mathematics activities involving patterns at a child’s level are impure.

As recently as October of 2006, anti-reformers traveled to Seattle to conduct a marathon of presentations. According to reports, they called for the dismissal of everyone in the state superintendent’s office who had been involved in developing the state’s math standards and the Washington Assessment of Student Learning, from Superintendent of Public Instruction Terry Bergeson on down.

Their other pleas, it is said, included replacing the state’s standards with a set of “world-class standards.” Get rid of any vestige of any “reform” curricula; erase the influence of the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics over the state’s curriculum; make sure that no decision on math instruction is influenced by any educational research or anyone from a college of education; adopt certain textbooks, such as ones now being produced in Russia or Singapore; look to mathematicians and “good teachers,” while avoiding “mathematics educators” (a rung or two below the night custodian) and teachers who have any sympathy with constructivist notions, who are therefore not “good teachers.” Ironically, one session was said to be titled “Finding Common Ground in the Math Wars.”

The fact is that “make nice” is not the best descriptor for the present status of the math wars.

The institutional response to opposition commonly amounts to dishearteningly neutral responses, that really there is no conflict at all. This is a message that makes the protesters very happy.
The anti-reform people do not recommend the caning of children, but they have been harsh to fellow scholars and professionals who disagree with them.

Throughout the anti-reform rhetoric, one hears the trumpeting of the need for “world class” standards. Unfortunate for the case of anti-reform champions of world-class standards, the data don’t give much support. Last year, research from the California department of education showed that 23 percent of coursetakers are proficient at Algebra 1, and 25 percent at Algebra 2. (But the number of coursetakers for Algebra 1—707,000—dropped to 214,000 in Algebra 2.) For Hispanics, the corresponding figures are 14 percent and 12 percent, but there were 351,000 coursetakers in Algebra 1 and only 67,000 in Algebra 2. For African-Americans, 11 percent are proficient in Algebra 1, and 8 percent in Algebra 2, with 61,000 coursetakers for the former and 13,000 for the latter.

Students whose scores gave us these numbers were educated not by the fuzzy math of the NCTM and the NSF, but the instruction derived from the world-class standards generated by some of the present anti-reform mathematicians and adopted by California almost 10 years ago.

“World class” is an attractive label, but what does it mean?

According to their critics, the anti-reform people emphasize what they see as “basic”: Don’t figure things out. Don’t make sense. Act rapidly and obediently. Copy what the teacher says and give it back at test time. Be pure.

Those who wish innovative programs to disappear seem to have ignored people (especially children) in their education manifestos, and thus it seems reasonable to label their wares “Parrot Math,” a term I have used in my writing since the late 1980s.

Is the human being a parrot? The answer is an unequivocal NO. We interpret things in terms of our existing mental networks, and we change those networks in the face of things that we experience. We construct our own realities. Your view of today’s Yankees game is not the same as mine, even though we sat next to each other at Yankee Stadium and cheered for Derek Jeter.

Working with teachers, I have gathered data in hundreds of simple experiments with young children, experiments that have been widely known and replicated worldwide for many decades. Here is one example:

Fill a glass three-fourths full of colored fluid and show it to a child.

Give the child a drawing of a tilted empty glass, and tilt the glass that has the colored fluid to the same angle as the one in the drawing.

Show the drawing and the glass to the child, and ask the child to draw the fluid just as it appears in the glass.

You’ll find that very different drawings occur at various ages, a function of the child’s developmental level. What the child draws is almost certain to be fundamentally different from what he saw. In fact, it is unlikely that he ever saw such a thing.

The late psycholinguist Hermina Sinclair de-Zwart, a research colleague of Jean Piaget at the University of Geneva, said: “We should see children as wearing signboards saying ‘Under Construction.’ No, wait a moment. I should say it more strongly: We should see everybody as wearing signboards saying ‘Under Construction—Self-Employed.’ ”

Further, there is reason to distrust confidence in goals (and tests) that emphasize rote memory and instant atomistic responses, however correct the answers. In the 1980s, a colleague and I asked 4th, 5th, and 6th grade children who had been on a chant-out-arithmetic-facts regimen what the answer to 6 x 3 was. The result: close to perfect success across grade levels, 18.

Pretty good, yes? High marks for those kids? High marks for that test?

No. And no. And no.

In individual interviews, the children were then asked to give a real-life story or a word problem for 6 x 3 = 18.

These kids had been surrounded by real life for at least nine years by that time, and for virtually all their school lives they had been surrounded by (if not drowned in) arithmetic “facts.”

A large proportion of the children said something like this: “On Monday, I bought six doughnuts. On Tuesday, I bought three doughnuts. How many doughnuts did I buy altogether? Eighteen, because six times three equals 18.”

Indeed, more than 75 percent of the responses at grade 4, and 85 percent of the responses at grade 5, were incorrect. Worse, half the incorrect responses at grades 4 and 5 were stories for six plus three. (See School Science and Mathematics, Spring 1983 and Fall 1983.)

Let’s be clear, kids need to know their facts. But to know them (or to know anything) in the same way that a parrot says “six times three is 18” is a waste of everyone’s time....
 
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red states rule

red states rule

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I know you are a teacher, so please do not take this the wrong way. Most teachers today are a far cry from the ones I had.

It seems they are more interested in getting pay raises and pushing a liberal agenda then actually teaching the kids.

The kids I see today coming out of school do not have a clue on how to make in the world. HS grads cannot balance a cash drawer or a checking acconut, and do not know how a credit card works.
 

Annie

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I know you are a teacher, so please do not take this the wrong way. Most teachers today are a far cry from the ones I had.

It seems they are more interested in getting pay raises and pushing a liberal agenda then actually teaching the kids.

The kids I see today coming out of school do not have a clue on how to make in the world. HS grads cannot balance a cash drawer or a checking acconut, and do not know how a credit card works.
I am not the first one to defend teaching nowadays. With that said, most are just a product of their own education. It's very difficult IMO to find elementary teachers that have a good grasp of what they are teaching and how. They follow the texts and what they learned in their education classes, which is what they majored in, education.

I'm just north of retarded at math. Good thing I have no opening of teaching it, with that said, I aced the math section of education testing. Truly, their standards are horrendous.
 
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red states rule

red states rule

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What are you talking about? You've never done anything of the sort.

Get some new material.
Well if you still do not get it, I can only quote from Proverbs:

Go from the presence of a foolish man, when thou perceivest not in him the lips of knowledge.

In other words - I will not waste my time arguing with an idiot like you
 
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red states rule

red states rule

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I am not the first one to defend teaching nowadays. With that said, most are just a product of their own education. It's very difficult IMO to find elementary teachers that have a good grasp of what they are teaching and how. They follow the texts and what they learned in their education classes, which is what they majored in, education.

I'm just north of retarded at math. Good thing I have no opening of teaching it, with that said, I aced the math section of education testing. Truly, their standards are horrendous.
In my area we have teachers spending more time in the politcal arena then the classroom. They are not teaching kids how to make it in the real world. they are turning them into panty wearing liberals with a rose colored view of the world

They are in for one hell of a shock when they enter the dog eat dog world of reality
 

Mr.Conley

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Actually the mathematics teachers on the collegiate level have been trying to fix this for years. Guess who's 'fighting' them? You got it, education departments at universities throughout the country:
Teaching math is interesting. My opinion is that there is no single methiod of teaching children mathematics. However, there are general methods that could possibly be most effective for certain segments of the population. Determining who learns best under what conditions is the key though.
 
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red states rule

red states rule

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Teaching math is interesting. My opinion is that there is no single methiod of teaching children mathematics. However, there are general methods that could possibly be most effective for certain segments of the population. Determining who learns best under what conditions is the key though.
With libs running the education system, if Johnny says two plus two is five he is correct - if he is really trying hard

Can't hurt his self esteem you know
 

Annie

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Teaching math is interesting. My opinion is that there is no single methiod of teaching children mathematics. However, there are general methods that could possibly be most effective for certain segments of the population. Determining who learns best under what conditions is the key though.
All kids that have the ability to progress beyond 2nd grade need to know their math facts. Bottom line, the 'new methods' are intro algebra, geometry, and even trig into the curriculum from k and up. Of course, it's just shapes, patterns, formulas thrown in here and there. I'll assume it's to make them 'less afraid' or something down the line. In the meanwhile, there are not the problems they need to practice to understand the basics. It's all a fabrication, covered by bricks of sand.
 

Kagom

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I know you are a teacher, so please do not take this the wrong way. Most teachers today are a far cry from the ones I had.

It seems they are more interested in getting pay raises and pushing a liberal agenda then actually teaching the kids.

The kids I see today coming out of school do not have a clue on how to make in the world. HS grads cannot balance a cash drawer or a checking acconut, and do not know how a credit card works.
I'm proud to say that I know how to balance my checkbook and a cash drawer and I know how credit cards work. Don't lump all HS grads in such an abysmal category just because of the ones you and others seem to encounter all the time.
 
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red states rule

red states rule

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I'm proud to say that I know how to balance my checkbook and a cash drawer and I know how credit cards work. Don't lump all HS grads in such an abysmal category just because of the ones you and others seem to encounter all the time.
I am not. I said from the grads I have SEEN. I have to do the teachers job and train them how to do these simple tasks - HS grads no less
 

Mr.Conley

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All kids that have the ability to progress beyond 2nd grade need to know their math facts. Bottom line, the 'new methods' are intro algebra, geometry, and even trig into the curriculum from k and up. Of course, it's just shapes, patterns, formulas thrown in here and there. I'll assume it's to make them 'less afraid' or something down the line. In the meanwhile, there are not the problems they need to practice to understand the basics. It's all a fabrication, covered by bricks of sand.
Not necessarily. A lot of places just put kids on an accelerated track. My nephew's in the Boulder, CO (probably the 3rd most liberal area of the country) Public School System and they've pushed their curriculum to the max. The kids are learning Algebra I in the 3rd and 4th grade. Honors students finish BC Calculus (normally a college freshman course) by 9th, even 8th grade. They push the kids, but their AP BC Calc exam median average is a 4 (high pass) while the national average is is probably around a 2.5 (failing). I know anecdotes aren't worth much, but there are cases.
 

Annie

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Not necessarily. A lot of places just put kids on an accelerated track. My nephew's in the Boulder, CO (probably the 3rd most liberal area of the country) Public School System and they've pushed their curriculum to the max. The kids are learning Algebra I in the 3rd and 4th grade. Honors students finish BC Calculus (normally a college freshman course) by 9th, even 8th grade. They push the kids, but their AP BC Calc exam median average is a 4 (high pass) while the national average is is probably around a 2.5 (failing). I know anecdotes aren't worth much, but there are cases.
My son too. He was in gifted math classes and followed the University of Chicago lab school program. Great, he's in the upper 2% nationally for math. Problem is, it's the wrong program for average, which by definition is most.
 
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red states rule

red states rule

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Sorry for exploding there. :)
No problem. I should have made my point more clear. But I am worried about those kids - they do not have a clue as to what they have to do to make it in the real world
 

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