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Re: IRS vs. Algorithms
Posted:
Jul 9, 1995 12:44 PM


[[[[[But *then* we teach the long division algorithm, and some of those same students who once knew how to divide $2 among eight people will now try 2/8 and end up with answers such as 4, 2.5, and 25. What's worse is that they often *trust* these answers because the algorithm was handed to them on a silver platter with the implied message that "this is how people divide."]]]]]]
Well yes....but anyone who fails to learn the algorithm correctly deserves to get 4 and 25 as answers to 2/8. Why not learn it correctly and get .25 as an answer? .......Since, as you say, they already know that 2 bucks divided among 8 people is 25 cents each....they should know that they blew the division algorithm when/if they get 4 for an answer. I am not for dishing out algorithms blindly....kids must have a number sense about them and an ability to estimate so that such "crazy" anwers as 2/8=4 do not happen when attempting the division algorithm. Harv Becker (who once did his taxes incorrectly and got stung $450 by the IRS!)



