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PostPosted: Fri Apr 11, 2008 5:17 pm 
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Joined: Mon Mar 03, 2008 9:35 am
Posts: 83
I found this and wasn't sure whether to laugh or cry.

Evolution of British maths teaching

1. Teaching Maths In 1970
A logger sells a truckload of timber for £100.
His cost of production is 4/5 of the price.
What is his profit?

2. Teaching Maths In 1980
A logger sells a truckload of timber for £100.
His cost of production is 4/5 of the price, or £80.
What is his profit?

3. Teaching Maths In 1990
A logger sells a truckload of timber for £100.
His cost of production is £80.
Did he make a profit?

4. Teaching Maths In 2000
A logger sells a truckload of timber for £100.
His cost of production is £80 and his profit is £20.
Your assignment: Underline the number 20.

5. Teaching Maths In 2008
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. )


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 11, 2008 5:20 pm 
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Did Mike write this? :lol:

Seriously the quality of teaching of maths now is 10 times better than I was subjected to -


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 11, 2008 5:41 pm 
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Location: Buckinghamshire
Definitely not Mike!

I empathise with that, Guest55. I was a very early victim of "new maths" in the guise of the Scottish Maths Programme.

The teacher hadn't much idea what it was all about, and I used to long for algebra, Pythagoras' theorem and good old trigonometry so that I could work out the height of the oak tree in our garden.


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 11, 2008 5:48 pm 
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So was my sister and she ended up explaining it all to the class as the teacher didn't have a clue! Those topics just were weird ..

SMP was school maths project - originally from Southampton - now how was that supposed to be related to real-life :lol:


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 11, 2008 5:54 pm 
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Location: Buckinghamshire
Another illusion shattered. All those years I've been blaming the Scots for my Grade 5 O Level (third attempt!). :lol:


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 11, 2008 5:56 pm 
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Location: Buckinghamshire
Fast forward ...

6. Teaching Maths In 2010
A logger cuts down a beautiful forest. He does this so that he can make a profit of £20.

Did he make a profit? Answer Yes or No.


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 11, 2008 6:41 pm 
I think the teaching of Maths today is very confusing and contradictory :)


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 11, 2008 8:13 pm 
Are we talking about primary school maths?

Because I don't see a huge difference between what was taught to me in the 60's in Scotland, what I taught others as a secondary school teacher in the 70's in London, what my eldest learned 2000+ and what I tutored last year to two pupils as far as secondary school is concerned.

Only the emphasis shifts and maths should evolve with the times. In the 70's we used logarithms and slide rules, but that is pointless now with the advent of the calculator. In the 70's I taught a lot on Binary numbers because we imagined these would be needed to programmed computers but it become redundant quite quickly as computers became more sophisticated.

Calculus is no longer on the GCSE syllabus. Well, I for one, don't think that is a bad thing. Who, other than engineers, physicist setc ever use Calculus so isn't it better that be replaced by statistics which is of use in the modern world.


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 11, 2008 8:35 pm 
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Calculus wasn't even on my 'O' level syllabus - it is better taught in the Sixth Form when it can be understood and not 'drilled' as a technique.

I think the biggest change at Primary is in calculation methods - and at secondary there is more emphasis on understanding rather than rote learning of theorems.


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 11, 2008 8:45 pm 
I definitely remember confusing a bunch of 16 year old children with calculus in 1978 which means you are probably younger than 46!


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