Q&A #1739

Teachers' Lounge Discussion: Purpose of studying algebra

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From: Curtis Lomax

To: Teacher2Teacher Public Discussion
Date: 2003060318:26:48
Subject: Re: Re: Re: Re: Purpose of studying algebra


I just read through the posting on WHY do we need algebra.  I was
looking cause I wanted to get the insights of teachers that must have
to answer this question every year.  I was asked by a home schooling
mom the same question.  All she could come up with was that her
daughter might have sons one day and have to teach them.  Actually her
answer, though disgusting to me, was better than the bulk of responses

Why? is the FIRST and FOREMOST question that you should be answering. 
It seem pointless to begin teaching anything until the student knows
WHY they are interested.

Algebra lets you solve problems that hurt your head, in a way that is
as simple as drawing two straight lines.
Algebra is POWER.
It turns a problem that can't be solved any other way but by
experiencing it, into a little scribbling on a piece of paper.

I liked the internet problem.  That problem (you can put any face on
you want) is one of the most useful problems.  

Shame on you for not answering their question, for finding ways to
make it go away and "not be asked for the rest of the year".  

I guess I was looking in the wrong place.

Curtis Lomax

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