Monday, August 27, 2012

Algebra for All Is Dumb, STEM Math Science is Over Rated

As a MIT trained engineer, I agree with this viewpoint. Not everybody needs to know algebra, yet we had a whole generation of math reform that insisted at the same time that nobody needed to learn arithmetic. Ed reform is absolutely Jeckyl and Hyde - on the one hand everybody has to graduate a rocket scientist and novelist, yet nobody is to be taught arithmetic, spelling or grammar.

See this: No, algebra isn’t necessary — and yes, STEM is overrated

Posted by or from a variety of publications on on August 27, 2012 in Blogs, Commentaries, Daily

By Roger C. Schank – Why this religious zeal over algebra? It helps students learn how to think, people claim. Really? Are mathematicians the best thinkers you know? I know plenty of them who can’t handle their own lives very well.

Reasoning mathematically is a nice skill but one that is not relevant to most of life. We reason about many things: parenting, marriage, careers, finances, business, politics. Do we learn how to reason about these things by learning algebra? The idea is absurd.

Whenever I meet anyone who wants to talk about education, I immediately ask them to tell me the quadratic equation. Almost no one ever can. (Even the former chairman of the College Board doesn’t know it). Yet, we all seem to believe that everyone must learn algebra.

via No, algebra isn’t necessary — and yes, STEM is overrated – The Answer Sheet – The Washington Post.

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