Thursday, January 08, 2004

MISCELLANEOUS AND RANDOM THOUGHTS


  • MATH INNUMERACY

    One of the most striking features of modern education is the failure of students to learn math. While it does take a certain genius to invent a field of mathematics, it just takes hard work to master the basic processes. Or so I believe. Not so the education professionals, who have created this scenario.

    One major problem is that the sticking points of math (decimals, fractions) are somewhat counter-intuitive. Generally, people expect that multiplying numbers will produce a bigger result. And that dividing will result in a smaller number.

    Alas, that intuition fails in the case of fractions and decimals. So, when the math-challenged try to perform those calculations, the result doesn't look right. They ignore the procedure they've been taught, because, they just can't believe that the answer is correct.

    Teachers need to specifically address that situation, and show students why their intuitive sense is faluty.

    Teachers also need to address the time needed to master math. For most students, it will take more than 20 minutes a day of homework. And tutoring may be necessary. The current emphasis on reading is reducing the class time for math, particularly in elementary schools.

    Math competency is absolutely crucial for minorities. No other subject has the effect of increasing lifetime earnings, and leveling the playing field. I know NO minorities who are math-competent who are unemployed for very long.

  • REGIONAL BLOGS

    A great way to personally experience the growth of blogs is to type in the name of your city or region, plus the word "blog". Immediately, you will wonder that anyone living in your area has time to work, shop, or fool around. I did this yesterday, and found that a long-time friend has a blog. He's my favorite techie, Dan Hanson, of Magnum Computers.

    Try it - you'll get a whole new slant on politics and events in your area.

  • I ALMOST HESITATE TO LINK THIS ONE

    I was avoiding work industriously looking for interesting things to add to this post when I found this explanation of why older single women are the way they are. I do hope that the writer avoids the wrath of women.

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