On Wed, May 8, 2013 at 2:43 PM, Greg Goodknight <email@example.com> wrote: > On 05/07/2013 05:02 PM, kirby urner wrote: >> >> Wayne's response is predictable: that this isn't math and >> testing scores suffer. > > > What he actually wrote was "Let's see those mathematics competency tests." > If it meets or exceeds the results of a competently taught, recognizable > math class, let's embrace it as math. > > Or in other words, if it's as effective, there should be an objective way to > show its effectiveness, like a nationally normed test. It isn't perfect, but > it's better than a puff piece in the local paper. Until shown to be > effective, and not just as a remedial tool, let's not call it "math". >
Testing is integral. Performance gets reviewed. True in scouting as well. You get badges, like grades in some ways.
In the school where I teach, you keep failing until you pass but that can take variable time and there's no cohort moving through. You're more or less on your own, and if you have a busy life, it's OK to lag back. You move forward when you do. Correspondence schools gave rise to this pattern, while computers sped it up like crazy.
>> >> Lets call that gross and fine motor skills training, > > > Those were traditionally called "woodshop" and "home ec". At my junior high, > there was also metal shop, and electric shop. None of those classes, despite > requiring some below grade level math to be competent, were called math. >
Yes, that's how they'd carved the turkey back then. Math was for brains and shop was for "below grade level". The ethnic stereotypes abound.
Lets say the girl scouts are out placing sensors where others have gone before and saved coordinates (lat / long). Not only is GPS involved, but what the sensors measure, how readings go through a pipeline ending in visualizations (matplotlib). Water and air quality. Environmental models (half life, decay, rates of change, exponentials).
How deep is their math and physics? Depends what you measure.
Does proficiency include some ability to handle tools and build things? Not in every school, no.
> > Orienteering is likewise not math. >
Playing chess is not math, and yet mathematicians study chess. Or by some liberal definitions, playing chess is a form of math play, likewise Go (the game), but where do we draw the line? Are people in casinos "doing math"? "Casino Math" is real enough (probability, permutations):
> All of the above classes also require some below grade level language > skills, listening, speaking, reading and comprehension, and probably contain > more language than math. Why not call them English? >
High school literature should include traversing some 20th century lit, e.g. Ezra Pound, Hemingway. Discuss their different dealings with Fascism as a concept (Hemingway in Spain, Pound in Italy). Readings from 'The Pound Era' by Hugh Kenner, a James Joyce scholar, connects us to Bucky Fuller and those dots (Kenner wrote 'Bucky', a bio, and also 'Geodesic Math and How to Use It').
So yes, if we start cranking out the icosahedral numbers 1, 12, 42, 92... in World Languages class (Unicode, ASCII...), using a computer language (OCAML), that won't have to be considered math nor run by the math department teachers for approval. It's Lit.
> -Greg > > PS I recall being energized by metalshop (students did everything but pour > molten aluminum into the sandcasting molds, it was very cool) and electric > shop in the 8th grade. Great stuff. Very probably helped me on the path > towards physics and engineering. Shop classes are sadly not given the > respect they deserve. >
Sadly. Home Ec either, which needs to merge more with Urban Planning and Ecology. Where is the food coming from, what lifestyles does it support, how does a restaurant work, a grocery store? Inventory. Trucking. These are all Supermarket Math: