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#181
07-31-2012, 11:31 AM
 jayhawk Member SOA Join Date: Mar 2004 Location: Chicago Favorite beer: with alcohol Posts: 3,084

Quote:
 Originally Posted by twig93 These kids had *no* concept of fractions. Isn't that the math teachers' job? Yes. But the thing is... when you're looking at a recipe that calls for 3/4 of a cup of sugar and you have to use a 1/2 cup and a 1/4 cup measuring cup infinitely drives home the point that 1/2 + 1/4 = 3/4 far better than doing a bunch of problems on a paper does.
Reminds me of teaching math for nursing students in a community college. I can only think of the number of deaths caused by one of these women being told to give a patient a pill that has 1 gram of an active ingredient and having the pill bottle be in milligrams.
#182
07-31-2012, 11:39 AM
 FormLetter Member Join Date: Feb 2006 Posts: 37,076

So the nurse gives them 100mg because a millipede has 100 legs, so what?
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#183
07-31-2012, 11:50 AM
 jayhawk Member SOA Join Date: Mar 2004 Location: Chicago Favorite beer: with alcohol Posts: 3,084

Quote:
 Originally Posted by FormLetter So the nurse gives them 100mg because a millipede has 100 legs, so what?
The study showed that medication errors occurred in large numbers, including providing the wrong drug to patients, improper dosing, incorrectly flushing the patient’s catheter line and accidental stoppage of the infusion pump. Researchers recommended the following to prevent patients from being given the wrong medication and injured or killed as a result: better training, double-checking dosage, color-coding different drugs, ensuring the infusion pumps work correctly, and better record-keeping.

http://www.passenlaw.com/blog/medica...rors-hospitals

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Wonder how many errors would really be prevented by things like double-checking dosage? If the nurse thinks they are correct the first time, they will be right the second time too.
#184
07-31-2012, 12:00 PM
 whisper Member CAS Join Date: Jan 2002 Location: Chicago Favorite beer: Hefewizen Posts: 26,891

Quote:
 Originally Posted by twig93 Could you elaborate?
The pedagogy is all about kids learn X at y age given z time. Tracking is just a band-aid because all kids don't necessary learn X at y age given z time. It's still making broad assertions that kids of a certain type do this, while those of another type do that. It still pushes kids in the tracks along even if they've not mastered the material.

It may be "better", but it's still wrong.
#185
07-31-2012, 12:09 PM
 Dr T Non-Fan Member Join Date: Sep 2001 Location: Just outside of Nowhere Posts: 59,112

Quote:
 Originally Posted by whisper The pedagogy is all about kids learn X at y age given z time. Tracking is just a band-aid because all kids don't necessary learn X at y age given z time. It's still making broad assertions that kids of a certain type do this, while those of another type do that. It still pushes kids in the tracks along even if they've not mastered the material. It may be "better", but it's still wrong.
It's the factory approach. It is designed to make the cogs of society.
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#186
07-31-2012, 12:18 PM
 plinko Member Join Date: May 2006 Posts: 63

It's amazing how many people commented on this article without reading more than the title. I think the big misconception is what the author means by Algebra. He's not talking about 8th grade Algebra, he's basically talking about Pre-Calculus. This is the course that community colleges and 4 year universities require, and what's tested on many state high school exits exams and on the ACT and SATs. Does it make sense for a communications major to take and fail college Algebra 4 times, and lose out on a college degree because of it? And as a former high school math teacher, the author is right that too much of what gets taught in math classes the average student doesn't need to learn. It's far more important that students learn what a standard deviation is compared to solving quadratics or simultaneous equations, let alone trigonometric functions. Yet we test the exact opposite. And society wonders why so many young people hate math……

There are big costs in the way we teach. It's clear from the stats the author gave that required math classes are the number one reason people drop out of college, and they're a huge reason why people drop out of high school. And when people drop out of school, there is a learning loss not just of math, but more importantly, of other subjects as well.

The author goes out of his way to say that math is important, and he's not advocating any changes to the way math gets taught to math majors, engineers or actuaries. He's not even advocating a reduction in mathematics class time at the high school level. What he wants is to change the curriculum so that the math that gets taught is more relevant to student's lives. Yes, we can argue on what percentage of students should have a traditional math curriculum versus a non-traditional one. Heck, I'd likely argue more students get the traditional, rigorous curriculum than the author does. But for a hige chunk of high school and college students, the current topics taught in math classes does everyone an injustice.

There are a lot of misconceptions out there. The vast majority of Americans don't use Algebra on their jobs (according to the author, the number is like 5%). And more importantly, there's no evidence that the reasoning skills one learns in math classes translate well to being able to understand and decipher real world problems.

I don't agree with everything the author wrote, but I agree with the main point, that this country needs a change in attitude about teaching math, both in what's expected of students and what we teach them. It's shocking how many actuaries live in a fantasy world, and have no idea what goes on in the average high school in this country.
#187
07-31-2012, 12:47 PM
 ShebaPoe Member Join Date: Nov 2005 Location: NY / Palm Beach Posts: 23,383

My impression after reading your post is that you should apply for disability income. The reason you ought to cite is "handicapped by school".

Quote:
 Originally Posted by plinko It's amazing how many people commented on this article without reading more than the title. I think the big misconception is what the author means by Algebra. He's not talking about 8th grade Algebra, he's basically talking about Pre-Calculus.
Pre-Calculus is a make-jobs program for math teachers, isn't it? There's a free textbook available at MIT OCW for Calculus. It's written by Gil Strang, a mathematician of some repute. He has a chapter called "Calculus without limits". And it's exactly that. My point is, if you're going to introduce Pre-Calculus as a concept, you need to define what you mean by that.

Quote:
 Does it make sense for a communications major to take and fail college Algebra 4 times, and lose out on a college degree because of it?
^This passage will reward multiple re-readings. Or, this kind of dumb never gets old.

Quote:
 And as a former high school math teacher, the author is right that too much of what gets taught in math classes the average student doesn't need to learn.
Oh sweet Jebus. What is "the average student?" That sort of thing gets thrown around a lot, but the idea of an average student requires measurement of students, and ranking of students, and school people don't like to talk that way. So, tell us more. And tell us, on what criteria you've determined what a student "needs" to learn.

Quote:
 It's far more important that students learn what a standard deviation is compared to solving quadratics or simultaneous equations, let alone trigonometric functions. Yet we test the exact opposite. And society wonders why so many young people hate math……
It is? I always thought trig functions, which so accurately describe so many physical phenomena (and are therefore the solution to so many differential equations) are extremely important. Standard deviation is a gimmick, something useful when precise measurement isn't easy to come by, an excuse for imprecision, perhaps, or a shortcut. Trig functions are the words in the language of the universe.

Your disability claim, I think, has merit.

Quote:
 I agree with the main point, that this country needs a change in attitude about teaching math, both in what's expected of students and what we teach them. It's shocking how many actuaries live in a fantasy world, and have no idea what goes on in the average high school in this country.
Dumb and dumberer.
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#188
07-31-2012, 01:08 PM
 SirVLCIV Member Join Date: Feb 2006 Posts: 41,701

Quote:
 Originally Posted by ShebaPoe My impression after reading your post is that you should apply for disability income. The reason you ought to cite is "handicapped by school". Pre-Calculus is a make-jobs program for math teachers, isn't it? There's a free textbook available at MIT OCW for Calculus. It's written by Gil Strang, a mathematician of some repute. He has a chapter called "Calculus without limits". And it's exactly that. My point is, if you're going to introduce Pre-Calculus as a concept, you need to define what you mean by that. ^This passage will reward multiple re-readings. Or, this kind of dumb never gets old. Oh sweet Jebus. What is "the average student?" That sort of thing gets thrown around a lot, but the idea of an average student requires measurement of students, and ranking of students, and school people don't like to talk that way. So, tell us more. And tell us, on what criteria you've determined what a student "needs" to learn. It is? I always thought trig functions, which so accurately describe so many physical phenomena (and are therefore the solution to so many differential equations) are extremely important. Standard deviation is a gimmick, something useful when precise measurement isn't easy to come by, an excuse for imprecision, perhaps, or a shortcut. Trig functions are the words in the language of the universe. Your disability claim, I think, has merit. Dumb and dumberer.
Do you find acting like an ******* to be an effective method of argument?
#189
07-31-2012, 01:23 PM
 ShebaPoe Member Join Date: Nov 2005 Location: NY / Palm Beach Posts: 23,383

Quote:
 Originally Posted by SirVLCIV Do you find acting like an ******* to be an effective method of argument?
Sometimes I feel like a nut.

Sometimes I dont.
__________________
The beast of the Southeast. T.M.G.
#190
07-31-2012, 01:27 PM
 whisper Member CAS Join Date: Jan 2002 Location: Chicago Favorite beer: Hefewizen Posts: 26,891

Quote:
 Originally Posted by plinko It's far more important that students learn what a standard deviation is compared to solving quadratics or simultaneous equations, let alone trigonometric functions. Yet we test the exact opposite. And society wonders why so many young people hate math……
Substitute statistics for pre-calc without changing anything else - you'll still get a bunch of young people who hate math. It's not the subject matter that is the problem.

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