
Re: Why do so many of us hate math?
Posted:
Jul 4, 2014 5:56 PM


On Jul 4, 2014, at 11:54 AM, kirby urner <kirby.urner@GMAIL.COM> wrote:
> I think we've agreed though that the 25% is not happening. "Activities" such as coloring and roaming about in nature collecting pine cones sounds like watered down 75%, as you suggest, but that doesn't make it part of the 25%.
Agreed.
> > An appreciation for the role of mathematics in everyday life would require analysis of institutions: how does a supermarket work; a casino; a bank.
I don?t use this much in my 25%. Maybe 5% (1/5 of the 25%). I think it is important from a practical standpoint to understand how math is used, but I see too many teachers trying to bribe their students to do math in order to get good jobs. ?I know you don?t like doing math but if you do math you can be an engineer.? Which is stupid. If you don?t like math you really won?t like being an engineer. In fact, jobs that use math are often not the best *job* but we do them because we get to use math in them. You need to like math, not the job that uses math.
> > > What elementary school math class shows depositors putting the cash through window A and getting interest rate y%, while the bank loans that same cash out through window B getting interest rate z% with z% > y%. Lets "do the math" on the bank's balance sheet.
We used to have business math and plenty of business and financial scenarios. Those were the artifacts that disappeared during the purge of arithmetic and even though they brought back the times table as a token, no one notices that the artifacts were no longer there. Here?s your stupid times table. Nothing to use it on though.
> > If that's not high level enough, lets talk about the ships bringing ice from North American lakes and Norway, to markets in Britain. Factory ice (swimming pool sized baths of ammonia in which ice slab moldings were submerged) would come later.
Artifacts lost during the purge.
> > Watch these two STEM videos: > > https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QO4YkEdF1zk (uh oh, costs money, guess the school needs to pay) > https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sa7o49uOzVI (free of charge, how refrigeration works)
Funny, we just bought a fridge today and I couldn?t find one with the 1957 soft drink dispenser. I would have been a lot happier paying the ridiculous price I did if it just had a soft drink dispenser.
> > Now lets talk about spherical trigonometry and navigation and how those ships got around. Lots of exercises / story problems may be developed around this material, but at least we're (a) talking about institutions and inventions (b) looking at generalized principles re hot, cold, sphere shape (c) investigating the evolution of humans in their ecosystem context.
You seem to be running past your 25%.:)
> > That's more what I mean by the 25%. Gotta have it. If it's all just exercises, exercises, exercises, then I think the students are just being abused. > > The problem is mathematics is safely apolitical and purged of substantive STEM content precisely to keep it a "safe subject". No one wants the hassle of students learning too much, knowing too much, about the socalled "real world?. > > > The more you're into mathematics, the more you might be a threat to the powers that be, and the more you're encouraged to leave the "real world" in favor of this other place called the "Platonic Realm" which you're supposed to love more and express your loyalties toward. > > If you're a stereotypical "mathematician" then the "real world" is something to distance oneself from and get snobby about and leave to the low life engineers. These inculcated attitudes I think sicken our civilization. They trace to a weak 25%  deliberately weak would be my contention. > > Math pedagogy has everything to do with instilling compliance and a grinandbear it attitude to assigned work (homework). Math pedagogy is not about informing students about how the world works, even though those workings are intensely mathematical. That kind of knowledge is too dangerous to share widely.
This part sounds like you want to take someone else?s politics out of mathematics and put your politics in it.
I don?t want any politics in mathematics.
Bob Hansen

