Date: Jan 14, 2013 1:22 PM
Author: GS Chandy
Subject: Re: Do We Learn All the Math We Need For Ordinary Life Before 5th Grade?

Richard Hake posted Jan 14, 2013 10:33 PM:
>
> Some subscribers to Math-Teach might be interested in
> a recent post
> "Do We Learn All the Math We Need For Ordinary Life
> Before 5th
> Grade?" [Hake (2013)]. The abstract reads:

<snip>
>
> a. Literature major and Standardista-basher Susan
> Ohanian
> <http://www.susanohanian.org/> stated that she
> (paraphrasing) "never
> seemed to gain any insight from solving the calculus
> problems in
> Courant's text, which struck her then as plodding and
> now as without meaning."
>
> b. Susan Harman then opined (my CAPS) "WE LEARN ALL
> THE MATH WE NEED FOR ORDINARY LIFE BEFORE 5TH GRADE."
>

<snip>
>
Well, sure. I agree with these ladies.

In fact, we all do happen to learn all the language and literature, all the history and geography, economics and (gulp) philosophy, math, chemistry abd physics that we need for 'ORDINARY LIFE' before we finish 6th grade (perhaps even the 5th grade).

But some (or a great many) of us seem to want a bit more than that 'ordinary life' Ms Harman seems to yearn for.

I'm pretty certain that Ms Harman would have been able to write all of her very ordinary thoughts in her very ordinary article with the ordinary knowledge she had gained of all of these subjects before she left her 5th grade. Society should therefore give her and people like her exactly what they want - a 5th grade education.

Further, it is in fact entirely clear that Ms Susan Ohanian gained no insights whatsoever from doing the calculus problems in Courant.

Her thoughts do strike me as plodding, but meaningful.

The meaning is that some of us should quit school at 5th grade or sooner.

GSC


Message was edited by: GS Chandy