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Time To Overhaul Our Education System.

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11 minutes ago, nightrider said:

I think there is a reasonable argument that teaching  trigonometry, cosines  or Logarithms etc helps to develop logical thinking skills in order to understand it (even if one does not fully understand the topic in the end). I would be curious to know how many people who say they could never understand these things in fact just had useless teachers. Teaching does not pay well and most math graduates can get very well paid jobs doing easier things that are a lot less hassle ( I know enough teachers to know its a horrible job nowadays).

 

...

 

Totally true and sadly not new.

A generation of poorly educated but clever people who served in WWII were allowed to teach in schools post war. 

In the 60s the shortage of science and maths graduates led to too many poorly qualified science and maths teachers.

In the 70s and 80s , the drive to increase the numbers of graduates and unemployment created poorly trained and motivated science teachers.

In the 90s and 00s the "churn" of good science teaching staff and a "gravitation" towards "good, Ofsted" free schools left  many schools without Maths and Physics graduates.

 

 

15 minutes ago, RJRB said:

...

As said by Sir Isaac Newton “If I have seen further it is by standing on the shoulders of giants”

 

Absolutely.

That was on my lab wall for 30 years. 

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As someone who went through the education system in the 1980s, we didn't have many text books then. The obvious ones were French and German language text books, as well as novels/plays etc we were studying in English We had SMP maths books. I don't remember a Science book.  When I reached A Levels (Maths/Physics/Media) the only text book I had was one for Applied Maths.

 

Everything else was copying what the teacher put on the board; your notes became your text book.

 

No reason why all of those books couldn't be replaced with materials online, or ebooks, they were only reference.

 

Good luck covering your iPad in wallpaper though.

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3 hours ago, nightrider said:

I think there is a reasonable argument that teaching  trigonometry, cosines  or Logarithms etc helps to develop logical thinking skills in order to understand it (even if one does not fully understand the topic in the end). I would be curious to know how many people who say they could never understand these things in fact just had useless teachers. Teaching does not pay well and most math graduates can get very well paid jobs doing easier things that are a lot less hassle ( I know enough teachers to know its a horrible job nowadays).

 

I agree its a scandal we don't teach more about money, stocks etc to empower people to use their money wisely and also to not get conned. I don't think it should be an either/or with maths though! I suspect its deliberate we don't teach about banking systems though, a lot of people don't want anyone to know how money really works (esp. the bit about the magic money tree because then all kinds of awkward questions could be asked...)

 

I don't get the argument about teaching people about finances, as an alternative to maths. Its a few lessons in what I knew as form period to learn about mortgages, credit cards and the like. Hardly a subject in itself, and hardly taxing mathematically. Similarly, the operation of money markets, government finance and taxation, stock markets could be, and maybe is covered in form period or PSHE.

 

Mathematics at GCSE and A level is one of the crucial building blocks of science and engineering education and all that comes from that.

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9 hours ago, Bargepole23 said:

I don't get the argument about teaching people about finances, as an alternative to maths. Its a few lessons in what I knew as form period to learn about mortgages, credit cards and the like. Hardly a subject in itself, and hardly taxing mathematically. Similarly, the operation of money markets, government finance and taxation, stock markets could be, and maybe is covered in form period or PSHE.

 

Mathematics at GCSE and A level is one of the crucial building blocks of science and engineering education and all that comes from that.

I'm not suggesting finance should be an alternative to maths, but be part of it. Engineering etc may need certain aspects of maths but not everybody will become engineers, but everybody will need financial education. Maths should be relevant.

Edited by Anna B

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8 hours ago, Anna B said:

I'm not suggesting finance should be an alternative to maths, but be part of it. Engineering etc may need certain aspects of maths but not everybody will become engineers, but everybody will need financial education. Maths should be relevant.

The relevant bits of maths for personal finances are how to work out simple and compound interest, and how to add and subtract numbers. Nothing more, and both of which are currently taught at school in Maths lessons.

 

The rest of personal finance is terminology and the different kinds of financial instruments, absolutely nothing to do with the teaching of maths. They are the bits that should be taught in form period or PSHE, along with the application of the relevant basic maths.

 

Maths is relevant to all kinds of professional careers. The relevant maths for most peoples lives is adding up sums of money, primary school stuff, which is where it is taught.

Edited by Bargepole23

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20 hours ago, the_bloke said:

............................

 

Everything else was copying what the teacher put on the board; your notes became your text book.

 

No reason why all of those books couldn't be replaced with materials online, or ebooks, they were only reference.

 

-----------------

I firmly believe that the process of writing out (lessons, notes, revision etc.) is a way of helping a student to remember what is being read.

I can read stuff and forget it within the hour.

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15 minutes ago, enntee said:

I firmly believe that the process of writing out (lessons, notes, revision etc.) is a way of helping a student to remember what is being read.

I can read stuff and forget it within the hour.

Couldn't agree more. Reading documents online as a way of learning and revising is ineffective at best, certainly for me anyway.

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When I was at school I was one of the first kids to do 'a new type of maths course ' (this was in the 60's) so while half the  kids were up to their necks in algebra, Trigonometry, Logarithms etc (which we also did a bit of) we concentrated on 'Commercial maths' learning about statistics (fascinating,) probability, (interesting) problem solving which included algebra (useful) and applications (this had another name I can't remember but crossed over into science and other subjects, I remember doing stuff about space shots and trajectories...)  and lots of other stuff including, copious amounts of arithmetic (including compound interest) and some finance. We were guinea pigs; I hated maths and went on to love it. I still find it interesting.

 

I know some of it was eventually adapted into the national curriculum, but never in the way we were taught it. The applications stuff seems to be missing.  

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On 14/01/2021 at 19:31, Anna B said:

When I was at school I was one of the first kids to do 'a new type of maths course ' (this was in the 60's) so while half the  kids were up to their necks in algebra, Trigonometry, Logarithms etc (which we also did a bit of) we concentrated on 'Commercial maths' learning about statistics (fascinating,) probability, (interesting) problem solving which included algebra (useful) and applications (this had another name I can't remember but crossed over into science and other subjects, I remember doing stuff about space shots and trajectories...)  and lots of other stuff including, copious amounts of arithmetic (including compound interest) and some finance. We were guinea pigs; I hated maths and went on to love it. I still find it interesting.

 

I know some of it was eventually adapted into the national curriculum, but never in the way we were taught it. The applications stuff seems to be missing.  

Mechanics?

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On 14/01/2021 at 09:38, enntee said:

I firmly believe that the process of writing out (lessons, notes, revision etc.) is a way of helping a student to remember what is being read.

I can read stuff and forget it within the hour.

I used to teach Maths many years ago - you are correct. Forcing pupils to write stuff down means at least it's gone through their brain at least once 🤷‍♂️

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3 hours ago, Bargepole23 said:

Mechanics?

That doesn't seem to ring a bell, but we did learn a lot of different algorithms, and ways to estimate.  And I remember doing the binary system, not bad for the 1960' when computers were the size of a very large rooms and home computers unheard of.  We went on a trip to the Manchester science museum to see one, and I also remember a trip to somewhere to see an electron microscope. It was all about making maths useful, relevant, and understanding how it fitted into all sorts of areas, even algebra which previously a lot of my fellow students couldn't see the point of. A lot of it was mixed up with science and things like logistics. Great days.

 

 

Edited by Anna B

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