City-Data Forum kids math skills degrading for each yearclass here, what about in america? (university, degree)
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11-29-2011, 08:07 AM
 2,115 posts, read 2,713,295 times Reputation: 2227

So I just heard on my radio that yet another year of 9th graders(15 year olds) here in Sweden are worse at math than the years before.
(basic school ends at 9th grade here, and kids go on to gymnasium for 16-18 year olds, before going to university for 19+ year olds)
And not so long ago my nephew was a 9th grader and had math trouble, I helped him but was baffled at his lack of understanding in basic things like percentage calculations, solving basic second degree polynomial equations and such.

2 typical problems could look like this:
John puts 5000 crowns into the bank, and get 10% interest rate over a year.
The next year he decides to put the money into the stock market but his shares make a 10% drop, how much does he have left?
My nephew thought he'd have 5000 again, when of course the answer is 4950...

x^2+2x-8=0
My nephew didn't know what to do, while most should realize to quadrant-complete it to get (x+1)^2=9->
x+1=+/-3->
x1=2, x2=-4

Is this a worldwide thing or is it just here?
I get pissed coz it makes me wonder what they were doing in school for 9 years.

11-29-2011, 09:12 AM
 Location: Las Flores, Orange County, CA 26,346 posts, read 80,831,336 times Reputation: 17413
Quote:
 Originally Posted by SwedishViking I just heard on my radio
This might be a problem. We're going to chase this down as if it is a fact. What exactly are the facts? Maybe there are no problems.

What is the source of the information?
Any caveats?
What is the quality of the information?
How much worse are they?
Are they better in other things? (Computer use, arts, languages, science, etc?)

Is your nephew's responses to those problems a good gauge of what is happeneing?

11-29-2011, 10:28 PM
 5,092 posts, read 9,610,205 times Reputation: 3941
Viking, the kids here (US) are dumber than yours.

Not like it is point of pride or anything, but just the way things are.

USA #1, yunno.

here is why --

Math Education: An Inconvenient Truth - YouTube

Last edited by toobusytoday; 11-29-2011 at 10:37 PM..

11-30-2011, 04:51 PM
 Location: St. Louis 9,462 posts, read 16,433,366 times Reputation: 13174
Quote:
 Originally Posted by Philip T Viking, the kids here (US) are dumber than yours. Not like it is point of pride or anything, but just the way things are. USA #1, yunno. here is why -- Math Education: An Inconvenient Truth - YouTube
I totally agree with you on this. I've seen the programs in action and was completely appalled. What I noticed in one school that uses Investigations was that they had to supplement the math program with problems from another curriculum and math was already taking over 1/4 of the instruction time. I just remember that every time I went back to the school as a sub they were always making charts.

Then I was tutoring a 3rd grader and they threw the entire multiplication tables on the class before Christmas and didn't even do it in a systematic way. I got the boy a multiplication table and showed him how it works and how to fill it out, but the teacher said that was cheating, so about all I could do was show him how multiplication works and he had no idea. I do believe that showing those other methods of solving problems is fine, and I believe that manipulatives are extremely useful for demonstrating a concept, but then the normal algorithm should taught and used.

11-30-2011, 06:06 PM
 Location: outer space 484 posts, read 822,375 times Reputation: 393
yup we are dumbing em down here.

11-30-2011, 08:07 PM
 5,092 posts, read 9,610,205 times Reputation: 3941
Yeah, I think it is supposed to make them good dumb(er) citizens for the new corporate world odor or something.

We are pulling our kids out of school just to get them caught up. Mind-bogglin, over all. Turns out that teaching/tutoring etc., your kids around the present school system is becoming the upper to middle upper end normal. Lower middle and poor kids are pretty much screwed.

[Well not the real upper end -- Sidwell Friends (Wash. DC .gov private school) and NewYork City G&T programs use Singapore Math. hmmm, isn't that nice?]

But back to teaching your kids not Through the Public School System -- but in spite of it -- this thread/link below pretty well covers it. Funny part is the windbag U of Michigan moron who chimes in (part of the F-US crowd).

Parent Pundit: If your school has Everyday Math

12-01-2011, 02:10 PM
 2,115 posts, read 2,713,295 times Reputation: 2227
So it is international then...
I think the youtube clip illustrates the problem well. Too much fluffing around instead of just going straight at the techniques that work.
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