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Old 10-25-2010, 07:49 AM
 
Location: maryland
3,966 posts, read 6,162,102 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by golfgal View Post
Why, because it expands their minds. Do you REALLY want to live in a society where people ONLY study what they will do for a living? Do you realize that by doing this we would actually go BACKWARDS educationally. Much of education is exposure to ideas, concepts, ways of thinking. One of the most important things I learned in college was to look at issues from many different perspectives. I think there is a GREAT need for this in our society and not enough people learn how to do this because they are so focused on 2+2. Just think how much more reasonable our society would be if people could see things from other's perspective.

How so? If people are not going to ever use it....how would them not being exposed to it do damage? I agree up to a certain point you should learn math. But a kid is going to know at a certain point whether he likes math or not....or wants a career that will require a lot of math knowledge. You denying say a law student that is not going to push up back educationally....because he or she had no intention of using it or even care to learn it. All you do by forcing the students to learn subjects they have no desire to learn or will never use is waste time and money.
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Old 10-25-2010, 07:56 AM
 
Location: On a Slow-Sinking Granite Rock Up North
3,637 posts, read 5,563,369 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by golfgal View Post
Why, because it expands their minds. Do you REALLY want to live in a society where people ONLY study what they will do for a living? Do you realize that by doing this we would actually go BACKWARDS educationally. Much of education is exposure to ideas, concepts, ways of thinking. One of the most important things I learned in college was to look at issues from many different perspectives. I think there is a GREAT need for this in our society and not enough people learn how to do this because they are so focused on 2+2. Just think how much more reasonable our society would be if people could see things from other's perspective.
I agree, but math really doesn't corner the market on expanding one's mind IMO. Music, arts, history, rational debates, etc. are just as important, yet they are being squeezed out by force-feeding algebra to 3rd graders as near as I can see.

There are only so many hours in a day. When the first month (practically) is devoted to testing, a lot of "real" education gets pushed aside. We are too focused on testing for my liking.

Math is very important, but I think it's just as important to learn how to follow steps to arrive at a correct answer for many kids as it is to "understand the concept." Understanding takes time in the younger grades. To spend it toiling over spring and fall assessment review is a waste of time. I truly feel that it's not necessary to lengthen the year (although I'll concede perhaps the day) in order to better prepare children. Short, sweet and to the point usually works best for my kids.

Sometimes, it takes more time for me to understand what they're asking for an answer than I feel is necessary (for example, when I help with homework). This is not conducive to my being able, as a parent, to be able to review what they've done for homework. We do have a life outside of school. If I'm to spend time shaping my child's social skills, then I shouldn't be spending a great deal of time trying to figure out what answer they're fishing for on their homework.

For some people, steps must be followed prior to their understanding the "whys" of it. What is being passed off as math today leaves children who tend to learn better that way far, far, behind IMHO. It's entirely too frustrating for them, and that which frustrates us, we tend to learn how to avoid and despise. That's not good at all.
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Old 10-25-2010, 08:15 AM
 
20,793 posts, read 55,705,424 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by reloop View Post
I agree, but math really doesn't corner the market on expanding one's mind IMO. Music, arts, history, rational debates, etc. are just as important, yet they are being squeezed out by force-feeding algebra to 3rd graders as near as I can see.

There are only so many hours in a day. When the first month (practically) is devoted to testing, a lot of "real" education gets pushed aside. We are too focused on testing for my liking.

Math is very important, but I think it's just as important to learn how to follow steps to arrive at a correct answer for many kids as it is to "understand the concept." Understanding takes time in the younger grades. To spend it toiling over spring and fall assessment review is a waste of time. I truly feel that it's not necessary to lengthen the year (although I'll concede perhaps the day) in order to better prepare children. Short, sweet and to the point usually works best for my kids.

Sometimes, it takes more time for me to understand what they're asking for an answer than I feel is necessary (for example, when I help with homework). This is not conducive to my being able, as a parent, to be able to review what they've done for homework. We do have a life outside of school. If I'm to spend time shaping my child's social skills, then I shouldn't be spending a great deal of time trying to figure out what answer they're fishing for on their homework.

For some people, steps must be followed prior to their understanding the "whys" of it. What is being passed off as math today leaves children who tend to learn better that way far, far, behind IMHO. It's entirely too frustrating for them, and that which frustrates us, we tend to learn how to avoid and despise. That's not good at all.
Maybe in some areas but not in our area. We still have a full compliment of music, theater, arts, dance, choir, etc. As your kids get older short and sweet and to the point just doesn't work any more. They will have to go further indepth with all their subjects. No teacher expects parents to know everything and if you really can't answer your child's homework question, the CHILD needs to ask the teacher the next day. Not all kids are going to grasp all concepts the first time around.
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Old 10-25-2010, 08:23 AM
 
16,623 posts, read 19,070,395 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jasper12 View Post
Yes, it does. Some children have severe learning disabilities...Does that sound right?
Of course, but we still get them to learn to read. Imho, the same has to be true of math. We need to teach differently, but they can learn.
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Old 10-25-2010, 08:30 AM
 
16,623 posts, read 19,070,395 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by paganmama80 View Post
How so? If people are not going to ever use it....how would them not being exposed to it do damage? I agree up to a certain point you should learn math. But a kid is going to know at a certain point whether he likes math or not....or wants a career that will require a lot of math knowledge. You denying say a law student that is not going to push up back educationally....because he or she had no intention of using it or even care to learn it. All you do by forcing the students to learn subjects they have no desire to learn or will never use is waste time and money.

Tulane Law School Prospective Students

Quote:
Q-2. How would the study of mathematics help me in law school?

A-2.
This answer was provided by a first-year law student who majored in math as an undergraduate: “Math has served me pretty well in going on to study law. If nothing else, math is such a tough major toward the end of senior year that it makes for a good transition to another tough area of study. Taking a step back, both math and law are really dealing with the same thing--laws. The ones in math are set in a pure world, but just as in the legal realm, there are laws that can be bent and there are ones that can't be. Laws both in math and the real world are comparable in that each part has to be satisfied before the law can be applied.

A surprising consequence of the math major is how important writing is. Maybe more so than anywhere else, a math proof (or paper) must be written with careful choice of words. I didn't realize how big a deal that was until dealing with concepts like "void-for-vagueness." Every word must be chosen both for what it says and what it doesn't say. In a proof, one can't use "and" or "therefore" without a care, just as with laws governing people.

Another real bonus is the study of logic in math. My course in Methods of Proof and the subsequent proofing courses I took dealt with things like the contrapositive and direct proof everyday. Now, applying those concepts to both the LSAT and the study of law gives me a real advantage.”
Math Students Ace the LSAT, Pre-Law Students Suck - The Criminal Lawyer - Commentary on Law and Policy

Quote:
Math Students Ace the LSAT, Pre-Law Students Suck
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Old 10-25-2010, 09:07 AM
 
Location: Charlotte, NC
2,352 posts, read 4,166,921 times
Reputation: 3037
Quote:
Originally Posted by golfgal View Post
Why, because it expands their minds. Do you REALLY want to live in a society where people ONLY study what they will do for a living? ... One of the most important things I learned in college was to look at issues from many different perspectives. I think there is a GREAT need for this in our society and not enough people learn how to do this because they are so focused on 2+2. Just think how much more reasonable our society would be if people could see things from other's perspective.
But math has been required for many years, and it certainly hasn't resulted in this. I mean, if the way math is taught now was successful, we wouldn't have people believing they "can't do math". People spout these arguments all the time - "Kids need math because it teaches them to think logically", etc. But if that were true.... everyone who went through conventional schooling would be successful at that. I see no evidence of this at all.

The way math is taught, as well as standardized testing, causes students to focus on 2 + 2. They miss out on the beauty of math and the absolute purpose of it. It has no relation to real life for most students, it's just numbers and symbols and equations.

An interesting article, making a case for teaching less math:

When Less is More: The Case for Teaching Less Math in Schools | Psychology Today

Quote:
In sum, Benezet showed that kids who received just one year of arithmetic, in sixth grade, performed at least as well on standard calculations and much better on story problems than kids who had received several years of arithmetic training.
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Old 10-25-2010, 11:51 AM
 
Location: On a Slow-Sinking Granite Rock Up North
3,637 posts, read 5,563,369 times
Reputation: 2655
Quote:
Originally Posted by golfgal View Post
Maybe in some areas but not in our area. We still have a full compliment of music, theater, arts, dance, choir, etc. As your kids get older short and sweet and to the point just doesn't work any more. They will have to go further indepth with all their subjects. No teacher expects parents to know everything and if you really can't answer your child's homework question, the CHILD needs to ask the teacher the next day. Not all kids are going to grasp all concepts the first time around.

I agree, but if you frustrate them enough by throwing 5 different ways to do a simple subtraction problem, chances are many will grow to truly dislike learning. By the time they are mature enough to go beyond short, sweet and to the point, you've lost them until it dawns on them that they really do need it. That's simple, basic human nature.

You are very fortunate in your area. Last night we emptied out my penny jar to send into school. Currently, they are having a "Penny War" between classes, the proceeds of which are to go toward the 5th grade band program. Whichever class wins gets a pizza party by a wonderful local store owner who is extremely supportive of the school and programs. He often donates a portion of pizza sales on Monday night to the school basketball program.

This summer, I had to go to a school board meeting to voice my support of the funding of the band program. It was on the chopping block. I expect it will be again next year. This type of thing is going on all around the country. I expect it will just get worse until the economy turns around.

I sincerely hope that you can keep your full program schedule. It's more as important than algebra in 3rd grade IMO.

BTW, I wholeheartedly believe that they need to know what's not understood. I am a parent who tucks any math paper that my child doesn't understand right back into the folder with a note attached. I learned this after I spent an entire summer relearning the way my son did math. I also managed to convince him that maybe there is an easier way for him to "get it." It's a good thing I did because come 6th grade, he already knew how to divide the "traditional" way along with the way they wasted (IMHO) 2 years showing him (partial quotients) - the way he consistently got the wrong answer.

Last edited by cebdark; 10-25-2010 at 12:00 PM.. Reason: added/moved sentence
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Old 10-25-2010, 11:59 AM
 
8,265 posts, read 11,071,585 times
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A nice required series of personal finance courses in both high school and college would probably do a lot more for students' future success than advanced math.

And I majored in applied mathematics, and am now a software engineer.
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Old 10-25-2010, 12:36 PM
 
Location: So. of Rosarito, Baja, Mexico
6,767 posts, read 19,414,847 times
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A little off subject matter in regards to too much math.

I do a very simple basic math procedure any child under 10 could do with some efficiency. I do this every so often to stimulate the mind process in regards to getting rid of the old cobwebs at my senior yrs.

Watched a card Pro in Vegas counting cards via turning them over quickly one at a time at the Blackjack table during an interview.

Now I'm NOT saying this will be a gambling training procedure but just the mind working as fast as possible with Basic math...using a plain deck of cards.

It took me less then 20 mins to figure out how it was done.

Any kid can be shown how to do it using Basic Math. Am surprised that schools have not tried this approach to sharpen their thinking.
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Old 10-25-2010, 01:59 PM
 
20,793 posts, read 55,705,424 times
Reputation: 10569
Quote:
Originally Posted by reloop View Post
I agree, but if you frustrate them enough by throwing 5 different ways to do a simple subtraction problem, chances are many will grow to truly dislike learning. By the time they are mature enough to go beyond short, sweet and to the point, you've lost them until it dawns on them that they really do need it. That's simple, basic human nature.

You are very fortunate in your area. Last night we emptied out my penny jar to send into school. Currently, they are having a "Penny War" between classes, the proceeds of which are to go toward the 5th grade band program. Whichever class wins gets a pizza party by a wonderful local store owner who is extremely supportive of the school and programs. He often donates a portion of pizza sales on Monday night to the school basketball program.

This summer, I had to go to a school board meeting to voice my support of the funding of the band program. It was on the chopping block. I expect it will be again next year. This type of thing is going on all around the country. I expect it will just get worse until the economy turns around.

I sincerely hope that you can keep your full program schedule. It's more as important than algebra in 3rd grade IMO.

BTW, I wholeheartedly believe that they need to know what's not understood. I am a parent who tucks any math paper that my child doesn't understand right back into the folder with a note attached. I learned this after I spent an entire summer relearning the way my son did math. I also managed to convince him that maybe there is an easier way for him to "get it." It's a good thing I did because come 6th grade, he already knew how to divide the "traditional" way along with the way they wasted (IMHO) 2 years showing him (partial quotients) - the way he consistently got the wrong answer.
Yes, we are very lucky-we have 3 full time band directors at our high school, 6 at the middle school and a couple at the elementary school for 5th grade. It would take a LOT to remove the band program at our school as it is the most successful program in the school and with the number of kids in the program there is just too much support. We are also lucky that our assistant principal is a former band director herself so we have that extra help on our side too.

Too many schools forget that just because THEY want them to learn algebra in 3rd grade doesn't mean the kids are developmentally ready to deal with algebra. I hear of some of these silly requirements from around the country and try to figure out just what they are trying to do. Now, our kids DID have some algebra in early elementary school but it wasn't the focus of the math program and it was more for critical thinking then math.
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