On Mon, Sep 10, 2012 at 6:41 AM, Haim <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote: > Well, yes, but Mr. Vigdor does not state it exactly right. The root of the problem is coercion. We must stop forcing people, who lack the talent or the interest for mathematics, into mathematics classes. >
I think focusing on coercion is not a bad idea. This blog post struck a chord with some people:
"I consider this an analogy for how pushing cohorts of students to all speed along at the same pace, set to a tempo / calendar, may be harmful and currently [name of school] offers a choice to step away from the tread mill and self pace for a change. Falling off the rails, needing an intervention, is one thing, but just taking one's time, doing lots of study / research they don't need to tell us about, is one of the joys of atemporal / asynchronous learning."
But nor do I favor a "one strike you're out" approach when it comes to STEM and/or mathematics (whether analog or digital).
Say you're a tom boy (stereotype / cliche) and want nothing more than to pitch your tent, strike a fire, and do surveying and astronomy. You have bandwidth, sophisticated gear, and you hike an average of 10 miles a day. If you were imprisoned behind a desk, forced to answer multiple choice questions and listen to a teacher drone, you would just wither and die. You'd be in prison.
And guess what: even the math wouldn't be as good, as that "math in the wild" (customized for tom boys, and boys too) is actually quite high level, with lots of geometry and trigonometry. 'Divided Spheres' by Edward Popko is one of our primers.
Privileged boys from snooty families would hate public school and all the teasing and innuendo. Not their fault to be richie rich. The private military academy in picturesque New England, with Fall fashions, would be a second chance, and maybe a third as well, between trips to Europe and whatever.
Compare that to: love this prison of a school, or eat dirt off the streets. Who is suffering from "coercion" in this picture?
Just saying: if you don't want a nation of spoiled brats, then don't hire so many. If you're not in the military, remember not to take orders (uphold your end of the bargain: if free to, live free, and if not, then fight to).