Fifty Years of Math 1958 – 2008

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 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 pro fit 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. )

6. Teaching Math In 2008

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

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I read this during my prep period (I’m a math teacher), and laughed hysterically!!!

I am so glad my children are no longer in the RPS system.

And I am even more glad that I don’t teach here!

24 October 2008at6pmThey counter people are NOT allowed to do math in their head. They MUST key in the exact amount tendered. She may not have entered it correctly into the register and needed help correcting the transaction.

You must have felt so superior – for no reason.

24 October 2008at7pm251 nothing like totaly missing the point ..yikes

24 October 2008at8pmI think 2:51 PM feels threatened by the idea that people would dare to request real math.

24 October 2008at8pmi thought this was one of the best posts on this site

25 October 2008at1am…and those in the education industry think they can put a “good” spin on this. They dare to get angry when we tell them that they have so destroyed the teaching of math that it is not recognizable as mathematics anymore.

25 October 2008at4pmThis speaks volumes !!!! Keep the fuzzy math out of Ridgewood. What was I thinking? The decision has already been made!

25 October 2008at4pmI LOVE this – Thank you for posting!!!

26 October 2008at12pmGreat, great post PJ. Says quite alot in so few words. I just don’t get why those who support fuzzy math want to keep this stuff around. It’s just plain embarrassing. I don’t think any child is so stupid as to need to have math reduced to no math at all.

These so-called educators are duping everyone.

26 October 2008at5pm