Robert Hansen (RH) posted Jun 10, 2013 4:34 PM (GSC's remarks interspersed): > > On Jun 10, 2013, at 3:44 AM, GS Chandy > <email@example.com> wrote: > > > OK - so what? The point was that even students who <snip> > > That was my point. They weren't trying to teach > algebra and calculus to construction workers. That > used to be the norm here. Then they decided that > everyone must be college ready and that college ready > meant algebra and calculus. Also, that school is > described as an alternative school, like for misfits. > It shouldn't be like that. You shouldn't have to drop > out of school to be a mechanic or work in > construction. Another pet peeve is the disappearance > of business math in high school. It seemed to have > disappeared just when it became universally required > at work. They don't even teach arithmetic like it > should be taught anymore because they think it should > be taught in a way that supports algebra and > calculus. WTF. > 'Broadly' accepted, except the "WTF" - which appears to me to indicate a lack of basic understanding of how to how even to start resolving the problems identified - or any problem identified: no societal issue or problem can ever be resolved with a reaction like "WTF". See below for an example of another useless idea about serious issues relating to the 'public education system'.
My point is now - and always has been - that the teaching of math has to be radically overhauled; in fact, I'd go much further to claim that all of our education systems need to be radically overhauled. It's not just 'new math' (or any other such thing) that I'm advocating. (Your educational systems in the US are probably somewhat better than are ours in India - but that is saying very little indeed).
What's basically required is the understanding that we humans are in general endowed with the capability to initiate (at least) effective resolution of the complex problems and issues that confront us. Such initiation of societal problem resolution has:
i) first, to gather the ideas of the stakeholders in the defective/unsatisfactory system (relating to the specific issues under consideration) and
ii) second, to 'integrate' those ideas effectively into working systems.
It's not really rocket science. It's just simple 'common sense' which, as we see all too often, is somewhat uncommon (as is evident at most forums where we discuss societal issues and problems).
Consider for example the specific issue under consideration here, 'the ineffectiveness of our education systems' - in particular, the ineffectiveness of the 'public education systems' on which huge public monies are spent. Haim's standard 'solution' of this problem was the blanket recommendation to "PUT THE EDUCATION MAFIA IN JAIL!" It can quite easily be demonstrated that this suggestion does not work at all. (You, on the other hand, have come out above with some potentially useful ideas - the issue is to put them into effect in the systems under consideration).
In fact, the main reason why we do not adequately progress on resolving the societal problems and issues we confront is because we lack an understanding of 'systems' and what we can do about improving the ones we have, designing the new ones that we require. The 'root cause' of why we lack an understanding of 'systems' is that we fail to understand just how crucial are the ideas available of the stakeholders in the system - as a consequence of this we obviously fail to 'integrate' the available good ideas into the existing practices in the system under consideration.
Documents attached to my post heading the thread "Democracy: how to achieve it" (http://mathforum.org/kb/thread.jspa?threadID=2419536) provide information about just tools that can help quite significantly. > > >> > >> I was discussing what defines humans with a friend > >> last week. I guess our children are at that age in > >> school where the teachers start making those > >> distinctions. I came up with... > >> > >> 1. They are good with tools and fine motor skills. > >> 2. They are good with language. > >> 3. They are emotional. > >> > >> That's it. > >> > >> Mind you, I am trying to define the species in > >> general, not just 15 or 25% of the species. > >> > >> Bob Hansen > >> > > OK. So what? This does not counter any of the > points raised in the article - or any of the points I > had raised in the post to which you are 'responding'. > > The point - algebra and calculus aren't in the list. > OK. See above.