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Maths

US think tank the Brookings Institution has been looking at maths teaching, and the Washington Post takes up the story:

"Countries such as the United States that embrace self-esteem, joy and real-world relevance in learning mathematics are lagging behind others that don't promote all that self-regard....In Japan, the report found, 14 percent of math teachers surveyed said they aim to connect lessons to students' lives, compared with 66 percent of U.S. math teachers. Yet the U.S. scores in eighth-grade math trail those of the Japanese, raising similar questions about the importance of practical relevance....The report is likely to stoke a debate over teaching math and other subjects that has divided the United States for at least a century. Progressives say that what students choose to study and how they feel about education should matter as much, or more, in the classroom than test results; traditionalists say that gain requires some pain and that tests matter."


Well knock me down with a feather - we can't all succeed, others must fail. Must say maths was never my stroing point - I scraped a C at 'O' level. Two female friends are self-confessed maths nerds, and one competed as a 'Mathlete' in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Each to their own, I suppose.

Meanwhile, how about this from a maths textbook from the former DDR:

"The collectives in the neighbouring districts deliver their sugar beets to the refinery in trucks. Today the Schondorf LPG sent 34 trucks to the refinery, and the Sommerfield LPG sent 30 trucks. How many trucks carried sugar beets to the refinery?"
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Anonymous Anonymous said... 12:50 pm

None, thirty four broke down en route due to lack of maintenance and parts, ten failed to arrive as the produce was sold on the black market,five were stolen and broken for spares,fifteen had had the produce stored for so long that it converted into a liquid mush and had to be dumped in the Revolutionary Friends of Cuba Recycling centre-  



Blogger Croydonian said... 8:40 pm

G - quality. Like it.  



Blogger Ross F said... 2:16 am

This reminds me of something I quoted on my own blog a few months ago from Thomas Sowell's 'Inside American Education'-

{"an international study of 13 year olds found that Koreans ranked first in mathematics and Americans last. When asked if they thought that they were "good at mathematics," only 32% of Korean youngsters said "yes"- compared to 68% of American 13 year olds."}  



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