We in the US are in the unfortunate position of dealing with many years of “dumbing down” of our education system. Efforts to standardize education–while noble in concept–have really just established a standard for conformity and only served to maximize mediocrity. A car race where everyone is required to drive 55 offers little motivation for those who can go 100.
I am not a teacher–I don’t have the patience for it. But I really admire those who do. I know some great teachers. These are people who find real joy seeing the light come on in a student’s eyes when they finally “get it.”
Of course, the Really Big Problem is using education to further an agenda. I came across this a while back. (Sorry, but I don’t know how to attribute it.)
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. )