----snip-------------------- there was a rather long silence. Finally, she asked, "Why am I computing these ratios anyway?" I burst out laughing! What a great question! There was absolutely no reason to do any of those problems, other than to drill the definition which was placed up front! WHO CARES INDEED! It was useless!
This girl could only have come from a Trig course on Mars. For a teacher to simply define tangent or sine, and then have an advanced math student just go home and do a bunch of division problems... is not teaching. In my 23 years of teaching, I have never seen this type of an assignment given to a student taking trigonometry. I wonder if it is possible that this girl said, "why am I computing these ratios anyway?" because she wasn't paying attention in class when the teacher explained the concept. Perhaps she missed the correct directions for the assignment. Quite often kids (especially high school kids) will say something to their parents or freinds that DO NOT accurately describe what the teacher explained or described in class. Dan Hart makes a good point when he says student learning is directly related to student studying and motivation. I really feel that this young lady did not pay attention in class on this given day.