Friday, October 20, 2006

Mathematics, as taught from 1950 to 2006

(passed on from a reader)...

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 1950

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 1960

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 1970

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



4. Teaching Math In 1980

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 1990

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.)


6. Teaching Math In 2006

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

1 comment:

Writeacher said...

I saw this in email a year or so ago, and I understood then why it's so difficult for me (a 1950s child) to teach my grandchildren (currently in elementary and intermediate schools) any math! How sad. =(