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Topic: Intro & more on the calculator issue (Are these quotes for real?)
Replies: 4   Last Post: Jul 13, 1998 2:25 PM

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Kleinschmidt Richard

Posts: 78
Registered: 12/6/04
Intro & more on the calculator issue (Are these quotes for real?)
Posted: Jul 9, 1998 12:59 PM
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Greetings from another new AP teacher. I'm teaching AP-Calc for the first
time and it is a BC class. I would appreciate corresponding with any
veterans -- particularly those who have used Dick & Patton for this course.
I had these 12 kids for PreCalc last and we're up through chapter 3, but
I'm concerned about issues of pacing, HW load, how hard to make my tests,

Who am I? I taught math at two very small Quaker schools back in the 70's,
then spent 20 years doing computers and saying that someday I would return
to teaching. Three years ago I took a year off, picked up an EdM. and just
finished my 2nd year of teaching at Bishop Brady HS (Catholic), Concord,
NH. I just attended a summer institute at UW. It was very helpful but I
know I have much to learn.

Now on to the second subject -- Calculators.

At the institute, someone passed around the following quotations:

"Students today can't prepare bark to calculate their problems. They
depend upon their slates which are more expensive. What will they do when
their slate is dropped and it breaks? They will be unable to write!" -
Teachers Conference, 1703

"Students today depend upon paper too much. They don't know how to write
on slate without chalk dust all over themselves. They can't clean a slate
properly. What will they do when they run out of paper?" - Principal's
Association, 1815 [N.B. I can relate to the chalk dust part.]

"Students today depend on paper too much. They don't know how to use a pen
knife to sharpen a pencil. Pen and ink will never replace the pencil." -
National Association of Teachers, 1907

"Students today depend upon store bought ink. They don't know how to make
their own. When they run out of ink they will be unable to write words or
ciphers until their next trip to the settlement. This is a sad commentary
on modern education." - The Rural American Teacher, 1929

"Students depend upon these expensive fountain pens. They can no longer
write with a straight pen (not to mention sharpening their own quills). We
parents must not allow them to wallow in such luxury to the detriment of
learning how to cope in the real business world, which is not so
extravagant." - PTA Gazette, 1941

"Ball point pens will be the ruin of education in our country. Students
use these devices and then throw them away. The American virtues of thrift
and frugality are being discarded. Business and banks will never allow
such expensive luxuries." Federal Teacher, 1950

"Students today depend too much on hand-held calculators." - Anonymous,

My historian spouse looked at these quotations and immediately branded them
as fiction. They are probably too good to be true, but does anyone know
their source?

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