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Topic: The Myth of 'I'm Bad at Math'
Replies: 14   Last Post: Nov 5, 2013 8:37 PM

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Dave L. Renfro

Posts: 4,560
Registered: 12/3/04
Re: The Myth of 'I'm Bad at Math'
Posted: Nov 4, 2013 10:21 AM
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Jerry P. Becker posted:

http://mathforum.org/kb/message.jspa?messageID=9316770

> *********************************
> From The Nation, Monday, October 28, 2013. See
> http://www.theatlantic.com/education/archive/2013/10/the-myth-of-im-bad-at-math/280914/
> *********************************
> The Myth of 'I'm Bad at Math'
>
> Basic ability in the subject isn't the product of good genes, but hard work.
>
> By Miles Kimball and Noah Smith
>
> "I'm just not a math person."
>
> We hear it all the time. And we've had enough.
> Because we believe that the idea of "math people"
> is the most self-destructive idea in America
> today.


[snip]

> 2. On the first few tests, the well-prepared
> kids get perfect scores, while the unprepared
> kids get only what they could figure out by
> winging it-maybe 80 or 85%, a solid B.


I see that Robert Hansen [1] has beat me to this,
but I still feel compelled to comment.

O-K, I don't get it. If they can get a solid B by
winging it, wouldn't this argue that the unprepared
kids are "math people"? If not, and the grades are so
inflated so as to be meaningless, then I don't see the
point of mentioning the grades, at least not without providing
some indication to the reader what the grades really represent.

Maybe Kimball/Smith are not "writing people"?

[1] http://mathforum.org/kb/message.jspa?messageID=9317066

Dave L. Renfro



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