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Old 03-05-2019, 08:41 AM
 
3,782 posts, read 3,531,592 times
Reputation: 9970

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https://www.washingtonpost.com/lifes...=.9c7ac8bcfd13

Warning - Washington Post has a paywall. You get the first few articles free.

In this feel good story, a man who is a senior at Morehouse college (a historically black college in Atlanta, GA) had to bring his baby to class with him. The professor offered to hold the baby while he taught, so that the student could take notes. What a sweet and supportive prof!

But the real issue here is that the material being taught is high school algebra, even first year of algebra. This is material that, in my district, the most advanced students take in 7th grade, the moderately advanced students take in 8th grade, and the majority of students take in 9th grade. This is essentially remedial math, that should not be offered for college credit, but just as remedial preparation for students who enter college unprepared for college level math, that is taken for no credit. And this is a senior taking what is essentially remedial math? I don't care if you call it "College" algebra. It's still remedial math, whether you call it "High School" or "College".

 
Old 03-05-2019, 10:10 AM
 
94 posts, read 135,945 times
Reputation: 121
If you think what he was teaching is remedial, you probably don't want to take a look at what the math requirements are for elementary education majors at a lot of colleges. In the school district I live in, pretty much all of the advance math students were taught math outside of the classroom. Private math supplement is very common here because teachers with K-8th certifications often are extremely weak in math.
 
Old 03-05-2019, 10:34 AM
 
8,577 posts, read 3,358,174 times
Reputation: 21973
I think it's a "feel good" story.

That teacher is knee deep in the trenches, supporting his students' success.

And here's the dad - not the mom - who is doing child care.

Sometimes, you take your positives where you can.
 
Old 03-05-2019, 10:35 AM
 
16,319 posts, read 13,675,721 times
Reputation: 20244
In the 70s you could get a degree in the humanities with no math classes. So I am not sure "dumbing down" is the correct term.
 
Old 03-05-2019, 01:55 PM
 
Location: Colorado Springs
20,746 posts, read 9,692,393 times
Reputation: 19484
I donj't see what this has to do with "dumbing down".
 
Old 03-05-2019, 04:25 PM
 
7,775 posts, read 8,594,938 times
Reputation: 6015
Quote:
Originally Posted by phetaroi View Post
I donj't see what this has to do with "dumbing down".
So the thought of students in college taking what is quite likely a Junior High level math class does not bother you?

________________

The rub is when students are that far behind they very rarely close the gap.
 
Old 03-05-2019, 06:35 PM
 
931 posts, read 481,089 times
Reputation: 2048
Quote:
Originally Posted by EDS_ View Post
So the thought of students in college taking what is quite likely a Junior High level math class does not bother you?

________________

The rub is when students are that far behind they very rarely close the gap.
I don't see where the article indicates that this is a "Junior High level math class." Can you provide a quote perhaps?
 
Old 03-05-2019, 07:11 PM
 
Location: 912 feet above sea level
2,041 posts, read 747,160 times
Reputation: 11318
Quote:
Originally Posted by parentologist View Post
https://www.washingtonpost.com/lifes...=.9c7ac8bcfd13

Warning - Washington Post has a paywall. You get the first few articles free.

In this feel good story, a man who is a senior at Morehouse college (a historically black college in Atlanta, GA) had to bring his baby to class with him. The professor offered to hold the baby while he taught, so that the student could take notes. What a sweet and supportive prof!

But the real issue here is that the material being taught is high school algebra, even first year of algebra. This is material that, in my district, the most advanced students take in 7th grade, the moderately advanced students take in 8th grade, and the majority of students take in 9th grade. This is essentially remedial math, that should not be offered for college credit, but just as remedial preparation for students who enter college unprepared for college level math, that is taken for no credit. And this is a senior taking what is essentially remedial math? I don't care if you call it "College" algebra. It's still remedial math, whether you call it "High School" or "College".
Q: What's the problem?

A: There isn't one.

College and universities have long offered remedial mathematics courses. They did when I entered college over three decades ago, and I have no reason to believe they were new then. Do you know what a 0-level course is? It's a remedial course. They don't count for college credit. They are not transferable. The exist solely for students who are weak in a certain area and need to take a precursor to a general ed course.

Gee, I wonder if Morehouse College offers a 0-level mathematics course? Do you know? Undoubtedly, you don't. But I do, because I took a minute to google the course catalog for Morehouse College.

Here (p.168 at the link):
Quote:
090. Basic Mathematics 3 hours
A review of intermediate algebra. Topics include arithmetic of natural numbers, integers, and real numbers; operations with algebraic expressions; exponents and radicals; linear equations and inequalities; and quadratic equations and inequalities. Institutional credit only.
https://www.morehouse.edu/media/admi...v1107-2018.pdf

If you look at the course catalog, you'll see that the second and third mathematics courses have as a prerequisite MTH 090 or mathematics placement. In other words, the standard math placement test that entering freshmen take will, usually, allow a student to skip the 0-level. But some students will need that course. Note the 'institutional credit only'. The course doesn't count toward graduation.

That's all this is.

You have obviously confused these remedial courses not for what they are - remedial, intended to instill what should have been instilled in high school, so that students can then progress on to taking the basic math general ed they need to get their degree in a program that is not math intensive - with core mathematics courses. Math majors are not taking this class. Physic majors are not taking this class. Did you note that the article is about a kinesiology major? Did you bother to look at the degree requirements? Two math courses, both very basic 100-level courses.

That's all this is. But you were so eager to see 'dumbing down' that the obvious completely eluded you.
 
Old 03-05-2019, 07:43 PM
 
2,418 posts, read 590,707 times
Reputation: 2719
Quote:
Originally Posted by wildflower_FL View Post
If you think what he was teaching is remedial, you probably don't want to take a look at what the math requirements are for elementary education majors at a lot of colleges. In the school district I live in, pretty much all of the advance math students were taught math outside of the classroom. Private math supplement is very common here because teachers with K-8th certifications often are extremely weak in math.
Also true for kids moving down south from northeastern states. By 9th grade, they've already taken the highest required high school math, and are repeating courses at that point. Tutors would be essential to progression.

My county HS of 1100 students technically had a calculus class but it got magically got cancelled each year due to not having enough students register.

Unless you TESTED INTO Algebra I in the 8th grade (yes, I just said that), your four years in HS looked like this:

9th - Algebra I
10th - Geometry (this is when they encouraged the students to take the SAT, despite it containing Algebra II material)
11th - Algebra II
12th - Trig (4.0) or Pre-cal (5.0 or honors course)

So with a leaking bucket - between students completing the 12th grade before taking calculus, and students electing not to take another math class after pre-cal - a calculus class was never held at my HS.

During my time, we had 7 x 50 min periods per day, all year. They have since moved to a 4 x 90 min blocks, semester-long. Maybe kids are taking calc now.
 
Old 03-05-2019, 08:02 PM
Status: "I don't have to agree." (set 6 days ago)
 
Location: Texas
8,162 posts, read 3,065,884 times
Reputation: 17166
I don't see an issue here.

If you're really brilliant, go to an Ivy League school.

Otherwise, colleges can teach what they want to. Their choice.
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