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  #51  
Old 04-25-2014, 07:33 AM
Eagan Eagan is offline

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So why then did you comment at all? These student failed courses with math as an integral part of it.
That wasn't clear, given the statement you gave. You merely said that 20 percent of university students failed high school level maths at the point that they were in university, not that these maths were integral to their studies. By the time I was in university, I was no longer doing any maths, and hence would most likely have failed in the same regard.

I'm just indicating my weariness toward statistics without context.
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  #52  
Old 04-25-2014, 07:49 AM
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That wasn't clear, given the statement you gave. You merely said that 20 percent of university students failed high school level maths at the point that they were in university, not that these maths were integral to their studies. By the time I was in university, I was no longer doing any maths, and hence would most likely have failed in the same regard.

I'm just indicating my weariness toward statistics without context.
Well, most if not all universities in Sweden has math as integral part of it's teaching. The two in question were the Royal institute of technology in Stockholm and the Chalmers university of technology in Gothenburg.
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  #53  
Old 04-25-2014, 08:25 AM
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doing well within my field.
There's a farmer joke around here somewhere...
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  #54  
Old 04-25-2014, 08:32 AM
Kyalin Raintree Kyalin Raintree is offline

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I'm not going to open myself to attack by elements who disapprove of the liberal arts by revealing my concentration. Down with science, and down with maths!
You can appreciate liberal arts, and that's just fine, but fear of math holds a ton of people back.

If there's one key objective I would highlight in reforming the content of education, it has to be to get more kids interested in mathematics.

While I'm here, let me speak on common core:

The idea is fine, but the content is ridiculous. Hand the standard setting responsibility to a nongovernmental, independent commission of teachers, business leaders, parents, and other stakeholders - much the way that accountants set their standards with the FASB, and the auditing standards with groups like the AICPA (I don't include the PCAOB, because for the most part, they just time-locked core auditing standards as what they looked like before Enron).
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  #55  
Old 04-25-2014, 08:37 AM
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and down with maths!
Omg, I agree with you for once.
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  #56  
Old 04-25-2014, 08:38 AM
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Omg, I agree with you for once.
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Math is the poetry of logical ideas.
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I was probably just upset about the Horde fleet in the Second War.
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  #57  
Old 04-25-2014, 08:42 AM
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Math is an easy and very useful tool, but really, really boring.
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  #58  
Old 04-25-2014, 08:43 AM
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Math is an easy and very useful tool, but really, really boring.
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Your face is boring.
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And the HRE was a meme that went too far.
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I was probably just upset about the Horde fleet in the Second War.
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  #59  
Old 04-25-2014, 08:49 AM
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Your face is boring.
I kill spiders, every time I see them. Problems?
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  #60  
Old 04-25-2014, 09:00 AM
Anansi Anansi is offline

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I kill spiders, every time I see them. Problems?
Fight me, bro.
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  #61  
Old 04-25-2014, 09:18 AM
Arterius Arterius is offline

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I haven't read the entire thread yet, but I just wanted to throw in my feedback so far.

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I just feel like the American education could be more effective and efficient if we had more choices and options. The kids in the poorest of neighborhoods wouldn't be at such a disadvantage. There would be more room for flexibility and innovation. School choice is a policy where if you take your kid out of the normal public education system you get a voucher to apply to another school or subsidize the cost of a private school. Personally I believe that would do wonders for the kids stuck at failing schools and encouraging flexibility and innovation.
Vouchers are problematic at best. The advantages of private schools over public schools are vague at best, even if you accept test scores as an adequate measure of educational quality (which they aren't). Also, unless you implement them a certain way, the major effect they will have is concentrating problem kids in public schools, making them even worse. Not to mention the can of worms you would open by effectively providing government subsidies to religious institutions, seeing as how a large number of private schools in the US are run by churches.

On the other side of the fence, government funds means government oversight. Providing taxpayer funds to private schools necessitates requiring private schools to adhere to government standards, which will piss off libertarians in the best of times.

They also do nothing to address the underlying problems of education, one of the biggest problems being standardized testing and how it constrains the curriculum. Students are not being taught to learn the material, but to pass the test. It results in an over-reliance on rote memorization and a one-size-fits-all approach to teaching. And usually the one method being used to teach is the worst possible method you could use. Seriously, the way a lot of math and english classes are taught, you'd be hard-pressed to find a more effective way to get students to hate those subjects.

You'd get better results by having specialized schools and improving the way subjects are taught rather than just shuffling the kids around.

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As for post K-12 we should just stop showing favoritism to universities and have more people advancing their learning with on the job training and vocational schools. I am going to a university for Electrical Engineering but I feel like I have to learn all kinds of extra stuff that is what I like to call "learn and purge," where you learn things to take a test and then you forget about it. The statistics for college loans/debt, graduation rates, and employment prospects are an unsustainable system. It isn't completely useless and I understand it works for some people but I think society would benefit if there was more choice and diversity in how our people were educated.
This I definitely agree with. There is way too much emphasis on colleges and universities and not nearly enough on other options like trade schools and apprenticeships. People can make a lot of money if they become a skilled electrician, mechanic, or carpenter, for example, and universities are a poor environment for learning those trades.

Not to mention that most universities are for-profit institutions and often offer programs with little real-world application at best, but do nothing to inform the students that choosing those programs may hurt their future prospects if they are getting their degree with the goal of steady employment.
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  #62  
Old 04-25-2014, 09:28 AM
PajamaSalad PajamaSalad is offline

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Fight me, bro.
I just want to pat you on the head.
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  #63  
Old 04-25-2014, 10:26 AM
Shroombie Shroombie is offline

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Math is as accurate an abstraction as we can get towards describing the fundamental nature of things.


That being said, wonder of the universe aside, it's still pretty boring.
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  #64  
Old 04-25-2014, 10:52 AM
Arterius Arterius is offline

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Math is as accurate an abstraction as we can get towards describing the fundamental nature of things.


That being said, wonder of the universe aside, it's still pretty boring.
This paper here is actually some interesting reading (for me, at least) about how the curriculum in K-12 is systematically destroying students' interest in mathematics. It is 25 pages, so it'll take a while to get through it.

http://www.maa.org/sites/default/fil...artsLament.pdf

English classes work in much the same way. I started reading at a young age, but it still took me until college before I was willing to read literary classics for fun, because K-12 was that effective at killing my enjoyment of reading. The worst offenses are with Shakespeare, since a lot of English classes will just have the students read the plays out loud instead of seeing them performed like they were meant to be experienced.
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  #65  
Old 04-25-2014, 10:55 AM
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I just want to step on your the head.
Seems PJ doesn't like spiders.
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  #66  
Old 04-25-2014, 10:56 AM
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Seems PJ doesn't like spiders.
You forgot to get rid of the 'the'.
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  #67  
Old 04-25-2014, 01:33 PM
PajamaSalad PajamaSalad is offline

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Vouchers are problematic at best. The advantages of private schools over public schools are vague at best, even if you accept test scores as an adequate measure of educational quality (which they aren't). Also, unless you implement them a certain way, the major effect they will have is concentrating problem kids in public schools, making them even worse. Not to mention the can of worms you would open by effectively providing government subsidies to religious institutions, seeing as how a large number of private schools in the US are run by churches.

On the other side of the fence, government funds means government oversight. Providing taxpayer funds to private schools necessitates requiring private schools to adhere to government standards, which will piss off libertarians in the best of times.

They also do nothing to address the underlying problems of education, one of the biggest problems being standardized testing and how it constrains the curriculum. Students are not being taught to learn the material, but to pass the test. It results in an over-reliance on rote memorization and a one-size-fits-all approach to teaching. And usually the one method being used to teach is the worst possible method you could use. Seriously, the way a lot of math and english classes are taught, you'd be hard-pressed to find a more effective way to get students to hate those subjects.

You'd get better results by having specialized schools and improving the way subjects are taught rather than just shuffling the kids around.
Indiana has an extensive voucher system and I don't see an issue with it. There was a court challenge with public funding going to religious schools but it was shot down. The state wasn't funding religion. The people were taking money that should be theirs in the first place and letting them choose which kind of school it was going to.

I think vouchers do wonders because they make schools compete and give people more options. It facilitates innovation. If your kid is having trouble at a larger school they can be moved to a smaller one and see if that works better for them. Private schools are usually more structured and that could be better for some people.

There can still be standards and transparency. You could send your kid to a high school that has better statistics for things like college acceptance, unemployment, salary, and graduation rate. As long as all this kind of data is collected you could find ways to compare them.
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This I definitely agree with. There is way too much emphasis on colleges and universities and not nearly enough on other options like trade schools and apprenticeships. People can make a lot of money if they become a skilled electrician, mechanic, or carpenter, for example, and universities are a poor environment for learning those trades.

Not to mention that most universities are for-profit institutions and often offer programs with little real-world application at best, but do nothing to inform the students that choosing those programs may hurt their future prospects if they are getting their degree with the goal of steady employment.
I think universities are more concerned about collecting as much government money as possible than they are actually teaching people. They can jack up tuition prices and make curriculum easier to collect more money. Degrees that force you to take more than you actually need to perform the job. So many degrees could be done in 1-3 years instead of 4. It would be a lot cheaper and time efficient. The reason businesses require experience and not just a college degree isn't because they are evil. It is because a college degree has been devalued.

People need to understand that there are multiply ways to learn something. You can learn a lot of things on the job and through out your experiences in life. You will be learning your entire life.
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  #68  
Old 04-25-2014, 01:59 PM
Eagan Eagan is offline

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Well, most if not all universities in Sweden has math as integral part of it's teaching. The two in question were the Royal institute of technology in Stockholm and the Chalmers university of technology in Gothenburg.
That's something I personally disapprove of. Study of maths should be reserved for people with personalities that are predisposed for such endeavours. One of the biggest problem with teaching today is that it doesn't target students.

People specialise in certain areas, they are good at certain things. Teaching should figure out what these are (by exposing students to everything in primary school, allowing the students to feel everything out), and then focus on teaching that to the students, rather than forcing everyone to do everything (not including basic survival maths/literacy), even things they despise and are no good at.

Don't privilege fields. Let people do what they are good at. It will lead to more innovation, and a happier society.

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You can appreciate liberal arts, and that's just fine, but fear of math holds a ton of people back.

If there's one key objective I would highlight in reforming the content of education, it has to be to get more kids interested in mathematics.
Some people will never be interested in mathematics. Some people will hate mathematics. They should not be forced to do something they hate and are no good at. Don't make people enter fields that they don't want to enter.
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Old 04-25-2014, 02:15 PM
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You know what I say? Loads of parents need a slap in the face with regards to maths.

Maths isn't hard. A lot of it's just being taught from a young age "Maths and algebra and calculus are really really hard and there's no need to learn it". My hairy arse is basic algebra difficult. If you're telling your kid that all algebra's dreadedly difficult and they shouldn't bother because it's too hard, yet you're happy with doing stuff like "5 + [box] = 10" or "I have 10, how many 50p bags of crisps can I buy", you're a dirty rotten liar of the worst sort- what else are you doing except replacing "[box]" and "bag o' crisps" with a letter?

We don't need parents frightening children- we need them to tell them that it's doable if you think of it the correct way. I always learned to do multiplication by the "grid" method- 10's*10's + both digits*10's + digits*digits. Is that hard? Why not teach them to multiply out brackets that way? That's all you're doing. So much of maths is just applying what kids learn at the very basic level, just change a couple of things for more "advanced" concepts, yet they're taught to fear it.
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Old 04-25-2014, 02:18 PM
PajamaSalad PajamaSalad is offline

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I was a Math Tutor in High School. You can teach it to people that struggle with it. Just be understanding and patient and the one on one help works.
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  #71  
Old 04-25-2014, 02:33 PM
Eagan Eagan is offline

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You know what I say? Loads of parents need a slap in the face with regards to maths.
Many parents also need a slap in the face with regard to steering their children away from the liberal arts, in favour of 'money-making' professions having to do with science and maths. This is a much more grievous error. Stifling the creativity of a society is a great way to damn such a society.
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Old 04-25-2014, 02:41 PM
Anansi Anansi is offline

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Many parents also need a slap in the face with regard to steering their children away from the liberal arts, in favour of 'money-making' professions having to do with science and maths. This is a much more grievous error. Stifling the creativity of a society is a great way to damn such a society.
The liberal arts philosophy is one of learning driven by curiosity and a broad range of academic understanding. It's kind of hilarious that you seem to believe the liberal arts are systematically opposed to reason and logic.
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  #73  
Old 04-25-2014, 05:41 PM
PajamaSalad PajamaSalad is offline

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Originally Posted by Eagan View Post
Many parents also need a slap in the face with regard to steering their children away from the liberal arts, in favour of 'money-making' professions having to do with science and maths. This is a much more grievous error. Stifling the creativity of a society is a great way to damn such a society.
But the reason some professions make more money than others is because you you are providing a service someone else needs and wants to pay for. An Electrical Engineer had to design a lot of the equipment and systems you are using now. There are a lot of things that are taught that I wouldn't pay someone to do for me. You can be creative without a university and I feel like a lot of a curriculum was designed to exaggerate the importance of academia because they have less uses outside of it.

If someone wants to pay for those classes they should be able to just like people can pay to learn how to play sports or instruments. You shouldn't be forced to do so though. I personally prefer things that are more pragmatic and I should be able to stick with that.
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  #74  
Old 04-25-2014, 05:49 PM
Eagan Eagan is offline

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But the reason some professions make more money than others is because you you are providing a service someone else needs and wants to pay for. An Electrical Engineer had to design a lot of the equipment and systems you are using now. There are a lot of things that are taught that I wouldn't pay someone to do for me. You can be creative without a university and I feel like a lot of a curriculum was designed to exaggerate the importance of academia because they have less uses outside of it.

If someone wants to pay for those classes they should be able to just like people can pay to learn how to play sports or instruments. You shouldn't be forced to do so though. I personally prefer things that are more pragmatic and I should be able to stick with that.
That's what I'm saying. You should be able to choose what you want to do, and one field shouldn't be privileged over another. One shouldn't privilege semioticians over carpenters, nor engineers over semioticians, nor engineers over carpenters, nor carpenters over bakers, nor bakers over visual artists, nor visual artists over engineers, nor mathematicians over writers.

Let mathers do maths, and let carpenters woodwork, let semioticians study the process of semiosis. All fields have equal value, practical, theoretical, rhetorical, spiritual, artistic. Don't let the market determine what someone should be doing, as personal talent and fulfilment are not determined by the market.

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The liberal arts philosophy is one of learning driven by curiosity and a broad range of academic understanding. It's kind of hilarious that you seem to believe the liberal arts are systematically opposed to reason and logic.
I never said any such thing about the liberal arts. I said that I'm personally opposed to logic as method.
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Old 04-25-2014, 05:52 PM
Omacron Omacron is offline


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I'm not good at math (and that's math, singular. No wonder all you Europeans are failing math, since you think there's more than one!), but I don't resent having to take it.

Up until high school I was very good at math, scoring in the highest percentiles in my classes and on standardized tests, and that's because it's supremely basic logic. The numbers don't mean anything as much as the thought processes and heuristics they teach children. Once I got into high school, however, around the time of Trigonometry, the way math is taught changes and it stops being "here are the logical processes to use, figure it out and strengthen your critical reasoning" to "here's the formulas you need to pre-load in your $400 calculators. Plug in the numbers. It'll give you the correct answer because of magic".


Almost everyone at my genius school took four years of math, but I elected to only take three (which is all you needed to graduate) and eschewed taking pre-calculus. Of course at that stage in my life I also learned that my real talents were in argument, and while I could function in math and science I thrived in the humanities because I could argue my way to an A with minimal effort.
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