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Author Topic: Evolution of math in the USA  (Read 10964 times)
RTyp06
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Evolution of math in the USA
« on: August 12, 2009, 11:27:46 pm »

Fifty Years of Math 1957 - 2007 (in the USA, Particularly hilarious to those of us who grew up in the western United States )

Last week I purchased a burger at Burger King for $1.58. The counter girl took my $2 and I was digging for my change when I pulled 8 cents from my pocket and gave it to her. She stood there, holding the nickel and 3 pennies, while looking at the screen on her register. I sensed her discomfort and tried to tell her to just give me two quarters, but she hailed the manager for help. While he tried to explain the transaction to her, she stood there and cried. Why do I tell you this? Because of the evolution in teaching math since the 1950s:

 

1. Teaching Math In 1950s

A logger sells a truckload of lumber for $100. His cost of production is 4/5 of the price. What is his profit ?

 

2. Teaching Math In 1960s

A logger sells a truckload of lumber for $100. His cost of production is 4/5 of the price, or $80. What is his profit?

 

3. Teaching Math In 1970s

A logger sells a truckload of lumber for $100. His cost of production is $80. Did he make a profit?

 

4. Teaching Math In 1980s

A logger sells a truckload of lumber for $100. His cost of production is $80 and his profit is $20. Your assignment: Underline the number 20.

 

5. Teaching Math In 1990s

A logger cuts down a beautiful forest because he is selfish and inconsiderate and cares nothing for the habitat of animals or the preservation of our woodlands. He does this so he can make a profit of $20. What do you think of this way of making a living? Topic for class participation after answering the question: How did the birds and squirrels feel as the logger cut down their homes? (There are no wrong answers, and if you feel like crying, it's ok. )

 

6. Teaching Math In 2009

Un hachero vende una carretada de maderapara $100.El costo de la producciones es $80. Cuanto dinero ha hecho

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SweetSassyMolassy
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Re: Evolution of math in the USA
« Reply #1 on: August 13, 2009, 12:03:04 am »

Haha, so true, and yet they say kids are getting smarter.
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Death 999
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Re: Evolution of math in the USA
« Reply #2 on: August 13, 2009, 04:32:09 pm »

I took math in the mid-late 80's, and though I got some 'new math' things like change of base and contingency tables, I got plenty of arithmetic too.

Of course, actually executing a change of base involves a lot of arithmetic.
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Alvarin
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Re: Evolution of math in the USA
« Reply #3 on: August 13, 2009, 04:43:24 pm »

You know , I usually too try to give as exact sum as possible for as small amount of coins/bills of change as possible , and usually I too get blank stare and need to explain the math , usually checked on a calculator ...
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Re: Evolution of math in the USA
« Reply #4 on: August 13, 2009, 11:14:48 pm »

Yeah Death999, me too, and remember them telling us we were moving to the metric system like the rest of the planet by the end of the 80's, early 90's? In fact I was never taught the english system of volumes and weights in public school.

@Sassy

If average IQ is going up as scientific studies have suggested, the standard IQ test may be evolving in a similar manner as well... Wink
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Alvarin
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Re: Evolution of math in the USA
« Reply #5 on: August 13, 2009, 11:52:37 pm »

Smart != knowledgeable
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Lukipela
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Re: Evolution of math in the USA
« Reply #6 on: August 14, 2009, 06:08:34 am »

Yeah Death999, me too, and remember them telling us we were moving to the metric system like the rest of the planet by the end of the 80's, early 90's? In fact I was never taught the english system of volumes and weights in public school.

Your teacher had the right idea. The English system should be disbanded. Maybe your teacher was trying to do his/her part from inside the system? If no one si taught the old system, it'll only be a generation before the new one is in place Smiley
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Alen
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Re: Evolution of math in the USA
« Reply #7 on: August 14, 2009, 08:25:16 am »

They just keep making it easier on children and allowing them excuses to make it easier on them. I think that reducing the difficulty is only reducing the intelligence of the kids.
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Lukipela
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Re: Evolution of math in the USA
« Reply #8 on: August 14, 2009, 08:28:09 am »

If you are who I think you are this forum will suddenly have a lot more posts Smiley

EDIT: i love how everyone reading this is suddenly checking out Alen's profile. He posts a lot on the SCDB people, no deeper hidden meaning.
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Re: Evolution of math in the USA
« Reply #9 on: August 14, 2009, 10:56:37 am »

I AM THE ALMIGHTY ALEN BOW TO ME!!!  Wink ya ill post here now too!
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Draxas
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Re: Evolution of math in the USA
« Reply #10 on: August 14, 2009, 08:26:14 pm »

Yeah Death999, me too, and remember them telling us we were moving to the metric system like the rest of the planet by the end of the 80's, early 90's? In fact I was never taught the english system of volumes and weights in public school.

Your teacher had the right idea. The English system should be disbanded. Maybe your teacher was trying to do his/her part from inside the system? If no one si taught the old system, it'll only be a generation before the new one is in place Smiley

Problem is that said hole in a child's knowledge makes it very difficult to do basic tasks in the US, like say cooking. 99% of everyday units in the US are in the English system, and that shows no sign of changing anytime soon.

Personally, I think both systems have their place. Metric is most useful for measuring very large or small quantities, whereas the English system seems to be designed around being useful for everyday tasks. Most people don't have to use measurements smaller than an inch in their everyday lives, and the Fahrenheit scale is much more useful for measuring the temperature outside, as opposed to the temperature of melting iron or absolute zero.
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Death 999
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Re: Evolution of math in the USA
« Reply #11 on: August 14, 2009, 09:37:20 pm »

Metric is useful on every scale. Just as we didn't at all regret the change from pence - shillings - snarfblats - scestres - pounds  - yuan - guineas, we wouldn't find metric a problem.

Fahrenheit isn't better for everyday temperatures than Celsius. It is better for that than kelvins, I'll grant.
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Re: Evolution of math in the USA
« Reply #12 on: August 14, 2009, 11:00:48 pm »

@original post:

That is extremely exaggerated. The only thing that has become easier in math is arithmetic, because we are used to using calculators. I personally think this is a good thing, because instead of memorizing multiplication problems, students can learn to do more advanced things earlier on.

Also, as Alvarin said, just because you know more or less doesn't mean you are more or less smart, and vice versa. Someone can have an IQ of 150 and know less than me (fact: I am not very knowledgeable) , and at the same time, someone can have an IQ of 80 and know more than Albert Einstein ever did. The only difference is it becomesharder to acquire knowledge if you are less smart, and easier if you are smarter.

Note: I am saying "smart" instead of "intelligent" because I'm not sure if intellect is smartness or possessing knowledge. (I told you I'm not very knowledgeable. Wink)
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Re: Evolution of math in the USA
« Reply #13 on: August 15, 2009, 01:42:43 am »

"That is extremely exaggerated." Well yeah.. I didn't think it needed to be said though as it seems pretty obvious to me.

@ Luki

Agreed, the metric system really is superior imo. Base 10, how can you beat that? I think there was legislation lobbied for in the mid 80's for the change but it was defeated in congress. I also believe my teacher may very well have been a forward thinker.
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RTyp06
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Re: Evolution of math in the USA
« Reply #14 on: August 15, 2009, 01:49:06 am »

They just keep making it easier on children and allowing them excuses to make it easier on them. I think that reducing the difficulty is only reducing the intelligence of the kids.

I think Bush's no child left behind act may have helped force lower acedemic scores and higher body qutoas. I live in Nevada , ranking like #3 in the nation for drop-outs.
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