In a message dated 95-11-24 02:07:59 EST, firstname.lastname@example.org (Andrei TOOM) writes:
>I do a lot of construction projects in my 9th grade science class, but I >can't use too much math - they don't know much. I can't teach Newtonian >physics at the beginning of the year because 50% of the class can't >solve w=(f)(d) for w. Probably 70% can't solve for f. I used to teach >simple algebra, but the math people have adopted a new algebra book that >"carefully guides students from the concrete to the abstract" with >manipulatives, and they got cranky about me disturbing the guidance. >The kids I have are bright, eager to learn, and excited about the >projects we do, but I am crippled by their lack of math. They shrivel >when I intone "It's directly proportional...". This week I am >trying to show how lengthening the snap bar on the mousetrap will affect >the amount of force and the speed of release that it delivers. These >cars race in three weeks. My room is full of activity. Will the math >teachers work with me on this? Heavens, no... it would disrupt the >sequence.
This is typical of these theoretical reformers. At our school,everyone takes three terms of physics. When I design my syllabus, I go to the physics and chemistry teachers (who teach real "real world" problems) and ask what math they want me to teach.