On Tue, Jun 18, 2013 at 7:57 PM, GS Chandy <email@example.com> wrote:
<< SNIP >>
> > ... as Canadians tend to be twice as smart as their brethren to the south > > >
> No. I'm Indian, not Canadian. We do have very grave issues with ALL of > our education systems (including math education) - none of which we are > even beginning to resolve! > >
Yes, I know GS that you are not Canadian.
Because this is a public archive to which I link to from street corners, bus stops, places where high schoolers loiter, I also address those eyeballs, suggesting they look at both television and text books with a critical eye.
It's not just the one or the other that'll lie to you or try to shape your opinion.
I have this review of an economics textbook that's something of a scream...
> (Though it is not actually relevant, I believe you're mistaken in your > contention that "Canadians tend to be twice as smart as their brethren to > the south". I would believe that your impression to this effect actually > must derive from some appropriate modification of what I've identified as > 'the underlying issue in India' - see below: people in charge in the US are > probably quite as blind to the crucial issue that is to use effectively > whatever resources are in fact available: none of those resources - whether > of finance; people; our means of 'handling issues' - are being effectively > applied to the issues at hand. In most cases, we possess litle if any real > understanding of the issues that are actually important/ relevant at any > time). > >
I remember when our family was living in Bhutan how Canadian kids were welcome through WUSC, their version of the Global University (GU). US kids were not accepted through Peace Corps though, given no real diplomatic ties between WDC and Thimphu.
As an Indian, you are familiar with this Himalayan nation to your upper right, probably on a distorted Mercator -- Google Earth much better and more informative. I wonder to what level of penetration you think Google Earth has achieved in polytechnical schools of engineering and urban / regional planning in India.
Anyway, USers were fighting this thing called the "Cold War" that led them to take terrifying actions in places like "Indochina" (which most USers may not be able to find on an unlabeled projection). The Himalayans took a dim view of this form of idiocracy and opted to not invite "superpowers" to put their pushy embassies in their region. India has stayed closely allied with Bhutan as another member of SAARC and the non-aligned nations (recently meeting in Tehran as I recall).
> > > -- I read in a study somewhere (Moore?). > > >
> I'm not acquainted with "Moore's study". > >
A sociological study comparing Detroit with a nearby Canadian metropolitan area, comparing concepts of urban safety and level of trust, attitudes towards firearms etc. Might have been a documentary film, or part of one?
> > See above. (I agree that Euclid's Method [extended or otherwise] does > need to be effectively taught - which is not the case in our existing > systems. But [I believe] it's not Euclid's Method that will provide an > answer to the dilemma I confront). >
I find I have a lot of leverage with parents when I map out the conceptual network in question. Remember my kernel STEM syllabus from a previous post? No matter, here it is again:
(a) Divided Spheres (STEM primer, geometric, Popko) (b) Digital Mathematics (STEM textbook, Litvin & Litvin) (c) King of Infinite Space (a bio, Siobhan)
Asset (b) aims for comprehension of RSA, the algebraic algorithm, by the end of the course.
Understanding of the role of cryptography in human history is of course a focus topic we keep coming back to.
Asset (b) reconnects us to some of that more Gaussian / German number theory that Euclidean Geometry tended to displace in the US, as North Americans recoiled from just about anything German, given two World Wars spent demonizing segments of that populace.
Spherical trig also used to get more airplay, before it became All About Calculus and Calculus Mountain (driving kids in great herds over that treacherous terrain, losing most of them off cliffs or down chasms). I'm for letting Physics have calculus in K-12, except in STEM we don't care to make those old distinctions so much. That was for the 1900s, where people could still afford to be that slow (inefficient with their concepts).
> Thanks for the references in your endnotes, which will obviously take me > some time to absorb adequately. (I have glanced at some of them - they do > not seem to address what I believe I have correctly identified above as the > 'underlying issue[s]'). > > GSC >
I think the underlying issues have a lot to do with curriculum content. Others on this list think we have the content more or less nailed down, and it's really just a matter of "how" and "when", but not "what".
I think "what" really matters, and that minus Euclid's Algorithm you don't have RSA which means you don't really understand HTTPS in your web browser. And if that's the case, why oh why are they letting you pretend you're a STEM teacher?
Not you personally, GSC, I'm talking to eye-ballers who might consider themselves "math teachers" at some level, and yet in the practical "how the world works" sense are content with these gaping holes in their curriculum.
They never talk about Pretty Good Privacy (PGP) nor how to make electronic voting secure.
Those are the loser basket case high schools that turn our would-be great people into incapacitated adults.
Those who think about "national security" or "staying vigilant" are understandably alarmed. Did anyone envision, in the 1970s, that the schools would get so bad (irrelevant) by 2013? Did we ever think Planet of the Apes would be so real?