Author Topic: Is Algebra Necessary?  (Read 3882 times)

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Offline DVZ3

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Re: Is Algebra Necessary?
« Reply #29 on: September 03, 2012, 08:32:37 AM »
What most people don't understand is that algebra and higher math promote and enhance a person's capability for 'problem solving' and rational, reasoned thinking.  This not only helps solve math problems but other themes in life subconsciously and/or consciously. Take for example in terms of thinking about religion.  To me, it really is an equation of facts, reality, and information that a person must form an equation out of and weigh what should be cancelled out and/or evaluated with reason to come to an obvious conclusion.  Atheists just are faced with a hugely exaggerated inequality equation and come to life's obvious conclusion using concepts from math whether they realize it or not....
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Offline Noman Peopled

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Re: Is Algebra Necessary?
« Reply #30 on: September 03, 2012, 10:14:31 AM »
This. Is. Fucking. Retarded!

Quote from: article
The toll mathematics takes begins early. To our nation’s shame, one in four ninth graders fail to finish high school. In South Carolina, 34 percent fell away in 2008-9, according to national data released last year; for Nevada, it was 45 percent. Most of the educators I’ve talked with cite algebra as the major academic reason.
Students suck at math, so we should concentrate on what they're better at?
Yes, it's a shame. So it has to be fixed, don't fucking cut it off!

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Shirley Bagwell, a longtime Tennessee teacher, warns that “to expect all students to master algebra will cause more students to drop out.”
This is true of precisely 100% of all classes. Being more difficult does not an argument make.

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Even well-endowed schools have otherwise talented students who are impeded by algebra, to say nothing of calculus and trigonometry.
Impeded? IMPEDED?! What the fuck? You're supposed to learn for and pass a test, and if you can't it's an impediment? Was it an impediment that I had to take classes on medieval German grammer in order to study 20th century German literature? Yes it was - so the hell what?

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California’s two university systems, for instance, consider applications only from students who have taken three years of mathematics and in that way exclude many applicants who might excel in fields like art or history.
Ah, see, this sounds sensible. If you don't need math for the job, you should not be required to have passed it. This is a far cry from eliminating algebra from schools and replacing it with ... I'm not sure what.

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It’s true that students in Finland, South Korea and Canada score better on mathematics tests. But it’s their perseverance, not their classroom algebra, that fits them for demanding jobs.
Like, to pick two rather popular examples, one of the zillion types of jobs in engineering orinformation technology?
Yeah, perseverance will get you reeeeeal far there if you don't know math.
Also, lookee here, in those countries students don't suck at math? Perhaps Mr. Hacker shoould look more into what they are doing right. Surely enabling students to pass difficult classes is superior to making classes easier?

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Nor is it clear that the math we learn in the classroom has any relation to the quantitative reasoning we need on the job. John P. Smith III, an educational psychologist at Michigan State University who has studied math education, has found that “mathematical reasoning in workplaces differs markedly from the algorithms taught in school.”
Would that make them less important?
Also, job security is faaaar from the only reason to educate people. It's no coincidence that humanist thinkers always propagated education for the masses. Job or not, a country can only suffer if its populace doesn't have the foggiest idea how odds are calculated or statistics work.

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Even in jobs that rely on so-called STEM credentials — science, technology, engineering, math — considerable training occurs after hiring, including the kinds of computations that will be required. Toyota, for example, recently chose to locate a plant in a remote Mississippi county, even though its schools are far from stellar. It works with a nearby community college, which has tailored classes in “machine tool mathematics.”
And I'm entirely certain that they don't prefer to start out with people who are good at math to begin with.
Egads, migh they be training people because the local school training sucks?

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But a definitive analysis by the Georgetown Center on Education and the Workforce forecasts that in the decade ahead a mere 5 percent of entry-level workers will need to be proficient in algebra or above.
How many will "need" knowledge about history?
Reading this article, I get the impression that the writer would enter kids into job programs the minute they're old enough to get to school because, after all, they won't be needing anything else. Sure, that's an exaggeration on my part, but not that far off ...

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Ours is fast becoming a statistical age, which raises the bar for informed citizenship. What is needed is not textbook formulas but greater understanding of where various numbers come from, and what they actually convey.
And we're going to do this without algebra how?

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But there’s no evidence that being able to prove (x² + y²)² = (x² - y²)² + (2xy)² leads to more credible political opinions or social analysis.
Does Shakespeare? Does knowing who was the last king of France? Does physics?

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Certification programs for veterinary technicians require algebra, although none of the graduates I’ve met have ever used it in diagnosing or treating their patients. Medical schools like Harvard and Johns Hopkins demand calculus of all their applicants, even if it doesn’t figure in the clinical curriculum, let alone in subsequent practice. Mathematics is used as a hoop, a badge, a totem to impress outsiders and elevate a profession’s status.
Wait, so people who might need to know how to calculate the growth curve of bacterial population are required to take calculus? Scandalous!

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It’s not hard to understand why Caltech and M.I.T. want everyone to be proficient in mathematics. But it’s not easy to see why potential poets and philosophers face a lofty mathematics bar.
Nor is it when mathematicians and engineers and programmer and biologists of a bazillion stripes face a lofty philosophy, history, or psychology bar.

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Mathematics, both pure and applied, is integral to our civilization, whether the realm is aesthetic or electronic. But for most adults, it is more feared or revered than understood.
The hell? [X] is integral to our civilization, but it's bloody hard, so we shouldn't make sure people have at least some inkling of what [X] is about?
Try arguing that for knowledge about the declaration of independence. How many US Americans "need" to know the contents of the constitution for their job?

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It could, for example, teach students how the Consumer Price Index is computed, what is included and how each item in the index is weighted — and include discussion about which items should be included and what weights they should be given.
Again, you're doing this without algebra how?

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This need not involve dumbing down. Researching the reliability of numbers can be as demanding as geometry. More and more colleges are requiring courses in “quantitative reasoning.” In fact, we should be starting that in kindergarten.
Yes we should, but that doesn't have any bearing on algebra. It's not a dichotomy.

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I hope that mathematics departments can also create courses in the history and philosophy of their discipline, as well as its applications in early cultures. Why not mathematics in art and music — even poetry — along with its role in assorted sciences?
Well, science pays better. Jobs being so important and all.
Depiction of math in art - just like the depiction of anything in art - should be covered in ... art. Application of math in art requires a working understanding of math, so what is Hacker even talking about?

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The aim would be to treat mathematics as a liberal art, making it as accessible and welcoming as sculpture or ballet.
This works splendidly right up to the moment where you have to actually try to understand it. Math is math. History is history. English is english. It's not fucking open to discussion, it's a goddamn tautology. You can change how you teach it but in the end the idea is to teach people math. Teachers suck at it or don't.

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It would be far better to reduce, not expand, the mathematics we ask young people to imbibe.
No, it would be better to reduce math requirements for colleges and universities where math actually isn't needed.
I remember being miffed that people in my class were unable to study history because they failed physics. That does not mean that physics classes should've been reduced. At best it means they should've been able to study history regardless.

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Yes, young people should learn to read and write and do long division, whether they want to or not. But there is no reason to force them to grasp vectorial angles and discontinuous functions.
Yes there is. It's to give them the tools to do whatever the fuck they want to do with said tools (like, idk, check the basic math of presidential election polls). That's the entire fucking point of education on a larger, sociopolitical scale. It's not to create qualified worker bees in an efficient way. It's to create an informed populace, not a competent one. Competence and better jobs are just gravy, and even their very existence is the direct result of good education in the past.
Hell, I've used loads of algebra in optimizing my old Diablo 2 characters and Magic decks. Calculus would've helped even more.

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Think of math as a huge boulder we make everyone pull, without assessing what all this pain achieves. So why require it, without alternatives or exceptions?
This simply does not compute. If math is both a huge boulder and integral to our civilization, we should not replace it with a pebble. We should see to it that we grow the muscles to bloody well move that thing.
Hacker himself even mentions exceptions (i.e. no math requirements for history) here but does not go into any sort of detail why he would instead go with the alternative (the cotton candy la-dee-daa fairyland version of math) ...
« Last Edit: September 03, 2012, 10:21:03 AM by Noman Peopled »
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Offline jaimehlers

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Re: Is Algebra Necessary?
« Reply #31 on: September 03, 2012, 11:36:59 AM »
Did he seriously say that in an age of statistics (which is, you know, advanced math), that we don't need to make algebra a mandatory subject?

I realize this is a bit below the belt, but I wonder if he's one of the ones who hated algebra in high school and is getting his revenge now that he has the 'oomph' for people to listen to him.

Offline jynnan tonnix

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Re: Is Algebra Necessary?
« Reply #32 on: September 03, 2012, 01:08:00 PM »
I guess that, in essence, the problem with the whole question is that you can only tell who would or would not have benefitted from algebra in retrospect.

To expand on a couple of posts downthread, it took one person several years to wrap their minds around fractions (I can relate). Yet now they work in a field where that is one of the most basic elements.

For such a person, it would seem, mastering math was something which led to success later in life, and had they not been required to master it, they might have ended up digging ditches or cleaning porta-potties, unable to compete in a wide variety of fields which required a working knowledge of math on at least that level.

On the other hand, a similar person with a lack of discernable math aptitude might find their niche as an artist, an author, or any number of other jobs in which a degree of mathematical fluency might be helpful here and there, but which probably wouldn't be vital in day-to-day function.

Music is a field where this is particularly obvious. There are the more mathematical of musicians, for whom the understanding of all the numbers inherent in time signatures, chords, composition, etc is vital. Then there the ones who cannot read a note of music but produce it instinctively. Especially in this day and age, if they have access to someone who can transcribe and record their creation, a personal understanding of the math behind it is unnecessary.

Of course, such people are much more unusual, and basic math, including fractions/percentages, is probably necessary for almost everyone, but as for algebra, I'm not sure that a significant proportion of the population hasn't forgotten everything they learned in those classes without measurable detriment to their daily function. And for those, would they have been worse off in any way by not having had to sit through those classes to begin with?

Offline Illuminatus99

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Re: Is Algebra Necessary?
« Reply #33 on: September 03, 2012, 04:48:13 PM »
I like your propaganda.
what occupation doesn't require algebra?

I DJ in a strip club and use algebra daily, on the weekends I DJ in a bar and my computer handles the calculus.

Offline none

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Re: Is Algebra Necessary?
« Reply #34 on: September 03, 2012, 05:09:21 PM »
I like your propaganda.
what occupation doesn't require algebra?

I DJ in a strip club and use algebra daily, on the weekends I DJ in a bar and my computer handles the calculus.
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Offline jaimehlers

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Re: Is Algebra Necessary?
« Reply #35 on: September 03, 2012, 06:37:18 PM »
Of course, such people are much more unusual, and basic math, including fractions/percentages, is probably necessary for almost everyone, but as for algebra, I'm not sure that a significant proportion of the population hasn't forgotten everything they learned in those classes without measurable detriment to their daily function. And for those, would they have been worse off in any way by not having had to sit through those classes to begin with?
So, kindly tell us how exactly we're supposed to know which students will never have any use for algebra in advance, considering how you just got done saying that we can't do such a thing.

It's easy to say, "well, not requiring someone to learn algebra might cause them to go into another field where it's not required".  Except, as I stated in my post, which I know you read because you referred to my initial lack of faculty with fractions, not knowing algebra closes a lot of possible career doors.  To put it another way, someone who takes algebra and, as you put it, forgets all of it because they never have to use it, still had and has the options that were opened up by knowing it.  If they never learn it, those options are closed until such time as they do learn it - and it doesn't become easier to do so as they get older.

It's easy to argue that a person shouldn't be unduly penalized for not being good at algebra, but it doesn't follow to then say that it should become an elective.  Fix the problem that actually exists, make it so that a student has the resources they need to succeed at something difficult like algebra, rather than making it 'easier' by not requiring them to learn it at all.

Offline jetson

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Re: Is Algebra Necessary?
« Reply #36 on: September 03, 2012, 06:56:39 PM »

The question for me is where that basic cutoff should be - as jetson intimates maybe it IS at the "nothing" level for formal schooling?  Myself, I don't agree - as a parent governor at a primary school I see how little parents get involved with their children's schooling.  Without the 30 hours a week of SOME kind of lessons, we would - I guarantee - see a whole lot more children growing up illiterate and innumerate than under the current system, however flawed it may be.

One of the arguments I read stated that kids would be motivated towards whatever their peers were doing.  That is oversimplified, but basically, what kid would want to be left behind on certain things in terms of education?  If it is not compulsory, then it might be possible that kids would not see education as such a chore. 

When we were researching the idea of home-schooling, I came across an idea called un-schooling, and found it interesting.  MY wife was not ready for that approach, and she believes that kids need more structure, although, she does not disagree that each child may be unique in this area.  As it goes, there is definitely an element of un-schooling in our approach, though not emphasized.

As I think more about how we educate, I have to continue imagining that we can do so much better, and that standing on the back of the way is has always been done, is not the best approach.

Offline jynnan tonnix

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Re: Is Algebra Necessary?
« Reply #37 on: September 03, 2012, 07:46:54 PM »
So, kindly tell us how exactly we're supposed to know which students will never have any use for algebra in advance, considering how you just got done saying that we can't do such a thing.

It's easy to say, "well, not requiring someone to learn algebra might cause them to go into another field where it's not required".  Except, as I stated in my post, which I know you read because you referred to my initial lack of faculty with fractions, not knowing algebra closes a lot of possible career doors.  To put it another way, someone who takes algebra and, as you put it, forgets all of it because they never have to use it, still had and has the options that were opened up by knowing it.  If they never learn it, those options are closed until such time as they do learn it - and it doesn't become easier to do so as they get older.

It's easy to argue that a person shouldn't be unduly penalized for not being good at algebra, but it doesn't follow to then say that it should become an elective.  Fix the problem that actually exists, make it so that a student has the resources they need to succeed at something difficult like algebra, rather than making it 'easier' by not requiring them to learn it at all.

I know. I agree with you in essence, and, in fact, mentioned the very problem of possible doors being closed because an individual might initially have so much trouble with math that they never anticipated a career path which might include it. I wasn't even necessarily advocating making it an elective, as much as I'd have been more than happy never to have had to deal with it during my high school & college years.

I don't know whether different teachers, different methods or what have you might have enabled me to grasp and remember the material, and I've been lucky enough that my path in life has not been one where that lack of knowledge ever made an appreciable difference. But that's the operative word, isn't it? I've been lucky. Someone else for whom the experience of algebra class was a similar hash of in-one-ear-out-the-other, scraping through tests with barely passing grades and finding it all looked like Greek again the next morning might have found that a signiicant hole in their education when doors were slammed in their faces. I truly do get that, and don't pretend to have an answer.

I didn't mean to come across as flippant about the importance of a rounded education, just sort of rambling about how in a perfect world a glimpse into the future could be useful.

Offline Anfauglir

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Re: Is Algebra Necessary?
« Reply #38 on: September 04, 2012, 05:13:37 AM »
The other, even more crucial, is personal finance -- knowing how to balance your checking account, create and follow a budget, calculate a debt-to-income ratio, that kind of thing.  As regards this second one, in particular, I'm absolutely astonished (and, frankly, pretty pissed) that it was never offered to me in high school even as an elective course, let alone the mandatory course that it should be.  I regard this kind of knowledge as being almost as basic and vital as being able to read and write.

The thing is......(I can't remember the exact age, but I think its around 34)....studies have been done comparing a person on average income who buys stuff by saving for it, with a person on same income who buys stuff on credit.  For the first decade or so, the person using credit has more stuff.  But then, around the early 30s, it shifts - the person who saves to buy starts to get MORE stuff, because they are not saddled with so much debt.  And for the rest of their life, the person who saves and doesn't take on credit has more money and more stuff.

A simple, and pretty obvious thing to teach, you'd think.  But who would suffer if the world said "credit cards? loans?  No thanks!"?  The banks.  Who are the major parties heavily funded by?

Maybe I'm overly cynical, but consider: is it better or worse for the "powers that be" that the population is money-savvy and takes on very little debt?  Or that they have no clue about money and spend their lives spending a large chunk of their income servicing their debt.
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Offline pianodwarf

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Re: Is Algebra Necessary?
« Reply #39 on: September 04, 2012, 06:11:14 AM »
Maybe I'm overly cynical, but consider: is it better or worse for the "powers that be" that the population is money-savvy and takes on very little debt?  Or that they have no clue about money and spend their lives spending a large chunk of their income servicing their debt.

It is better for the "powers that be" if people in general know the difference between good debt and bad debt, and avoid the latter while allowing the former.  Whether the powers that be actually know that is another matter; the junk mortgage mess from a little while back strongly implies that they don't (or that they do and don't care).
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Offline inveni0

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Re: Is Algebra Necessary?
« Reply #40 on: September 04, 2012, 07:09:31 AM »
Algebra is incredibly important.  My wife doesn't know basic math skills at all.  If I'm not with her, she can't even calculate 10% of something (I may be slightly exaggerating).  Me?  I use math ALL THE TIME.  And not just regular algebra, but I have to learn mathematics that I thought I'd never ever need again.  Things like functions, matrices, algorithms, etc.  Even classes I've never taken are starting to show me that I should have taken them.  Trigonometry, for instance.  Does everyone need to know this stuff?  No.  But we should at least learn it once so that, if we ever need it again, finding the path to a right answer will at least be a little easier than going from scratch.

Education is everything.  No one is going to make it in this world based on their "talents".  You could be the best sculptor or performer in the world, but if you can't figure out how to manage your money because you never took a class that taught you math, you'll be lost.

It's so much easier to live with a functioning brain.
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Offline jynnan tonnix

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Re: Is Algebra Necessary?
« Reply #41 on: September 04, 2012, 08:55:46 AM »
OK, I'm about to be incredibly obtuse, so please bear with me.

Aside from basic math, though, which I have a reasonable grasp of (including fractions and percentages & such), though I do admit to needing paper and pencil to calculate some of it, what, in everyday life actually necessitates something like higher algebra, trigonometry, calculus, etc? It just seems to me that most anything you might run into need for on a daily basis can be worked out without going into quadratic equations, or those matrices, algorithms, etc which I don't even have a clue about.

I took two years of algebra and two of geometry in high school, neither of which ever got to the point of actually making sense to me in any meaningful way. I'm actually very good at estimation (which was useful when it came to multiple choice exams), but the actual working out of all of it just eluded me. As much as I studied, though, it was like starting over every day. There was just no retention. I took one very basic statistics course in college, and one other course which was basically remedial algebra, which I needed to graduate. I took it over the summer with no other work to distract me and ended up passing the course with a D-, which I think was only due to the professor's generosity. And the thing was that I remember going into the final exam feeling as though I finally had a grasp of the material, only to blank out again.

I can balance a checkbook, though, and maintain a budget. I can work out how much things are going to cost at some percentage off. I can work out a tip. I can estimate the amount a grocery cart full of food is going to cost, how much of a mortgage payment we might have based on the assesed value of a house and the mill rate, how many tiles we need for the bathroom floor assuming a herringbone pattern, how much food I need to buy to put on a dinner for 40 people (and cook it all as well). I'm pretty competent in most areas of day-to-day life, and have simply never come upon any circumstance where I thought to myself, "oh, if only I remembered my algebra I could figure this out!".

Again, don't be impatient with me, because these are honest questions. But aside from certain more technical career fields, what might be an example of a situation where the lack of a firm grasp of something beyond basic math would really leave someone at a loss? What would you need that you couldn't work out with paper, pencil, and an understanding of addition, multiplication, subtraction, division and how decimals & fractions work?

Offline Azdgari

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Re: Is Algebra Necessary?
« Reply #42 on: September 04, 2012, 09:14:22 AM »
Sounds like you've retained more benefits than you consciously realized as a teen.
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Offline HAL

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Re: Is Algebra Necessary?
« Reply #43 on: September 04, 2012, 09:20:19 AM »
OK, I'm about to be incredibly obtuse, so please bear with me.

Aside from basic math, though, which I have a reasonable grasp of (including fractions and percentages & such), though I do admit to needing paper and pencil to calculate some of it, what, in everyday life actually necessitates something like higher algebra, trigonometry, calculus, etc?

I have an engineering degree and have taken higher maths in college, and I've never had to use any of it in everyday life. It isn't needed. Even when graduating, depending on what industry you go into, you might not even need it in your career.

I could have used it just to be a show off around the house - but it wouldn't have been really needed. Just basic math is all you need (+, -, /, *). Who solves algebra equations to fix their toilet or plan their garden or check their cable bill? OK maybe the cable bill, but come on ...

In fact, as I showed none, algebra isn't even needed by many occupations, if not most of them. I can add more examples -

Prostitute/stripper
Car repair
Wal Mart associate
Street repair
Wedding planner
Bakery
English teacher
...

I do agree it should be taught in schools, but that's called receiving an education, not a being in a tech school.

Offline Anfauglir

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Re: Is Algebra Necessary?
« Reply #44 on: September 04, 2012, 11:30:03 AM »
Hmm.  None of Hals' listed occupations require an appreciation of literature; a knowledge of political geography; any knowledge of history (outside, perhaps, the immediate history of that profession); or any knowledge of physics (excepting possibly use of the lever or inclined plane in landscape gardening and/or prostitution  &) )

In other words, I agree that there are a whole lot of jobs that don't need algebra.  But equally they don't need a whole lot of other information taught in school, which goes back to jetson's point that maybe we should go for nothing.

Personally, my view (which I believe is supported by the research) is that the more you learn, the more connections your brain is able to make.  What I'm sure about is that the more you learn, the better equipped you will be for what life may throw at you.  I've not run tests on substances to determine their elemental makeup since school - but the knowledge that you CAN test stuff to find out what its made from has been useful to me in my life.

I think I'm saying that while at some point I agree that you can quit with some avenues of study if you are heading for a particular career, a broad base in as many fields as possible will always be a good thing - and the longer and more you study a load of different stuff, the better placed you will be to determine whether a particular career is the right one for you to head towards.
Just because you've always done it that way doesn't mean it's not incredibly stupid.
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Offline jaimehlers

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Re: Is Algebra Necessary?
« Reply #45 on: September 04, 2012, 12:12:51 PM »
The point of learning algebra is not to memorize all of the specific terminology and specific equations.  It's to give students a general idea of what algebra is so that they can decide whether they want to pursue a field which involves it, and so that they aren't completely lost in the future if they should so happen to need it for something.  Basically, I think the baseline for what students learn needs to include algebra.

Offline jdawg70

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Re: Is Algebra Necessary?
« Reply #46 on: September 04, 2012, 05:21:31 PM »
Hmm.  None of Hals' listed occupations require an appreciation of literature;
True story - I once had a very enjoyable conversation with a stripper discussing what, if any, controversies would exist had Lady Chatterley's Lover been published in the year 2000.  My guess is that I spent more money that evening than I would have otherwise.

So required?  No.
Potentially beneficial?  Perhaps.
Detrimental?  Nope.

On a more serious note, I think algebra is an important subject to cover for all.  But I also think that calculus is important for everyone as well.
Algebra presents a rigorous, formalized explanation of logical, quantitative relations.  It establishes a formal way of thinking about trends and substitutions.  Algebra gets you to start thinking analytically about abstract concepts.
Calculus presents a rigorous, formalized explanation of infinities and instantaneous events.  It provides a formal basis for conceptualizing the implications of things happening 'instantly' or things shooting out to (positive or negative) infinity.

I guess the argument is that the by products, namely, the training of the mind for rigorous analysis of problem sets, outweighs the relative uselessness of teaching certain mathematical disciplines.  That, and I guess that if I met a plumber who couldn't figure out how to factor a 2-degree polynomial, I wouldn't let him/her fix my toilet.  I'm not saying that s/he would need to be able to factor a polynomial I throw in front of them.  I guess I look at it as a computational test; if you aren't able to learn how to do basic algebra, I'm not going to trust you to be able to do a whole lot.  I could be wrong and that non-algebra brain of yours is home to vast amounts of computational power and analytical kung fu, but the inability to do basic algebra suggests otherwise.

...does that come off as douchey as I'm reading it suddenly?  May need to rethink this...

But I really needed to get that stripper story out there.

edit: I apparently need more lessons in grammar.
"When we landed on the moon, that was the point where god should have come up and said 'hello'. Because if you invent some creatures, put them on the blue one and they make it to the grey one, you f**king turn up and say 'well done'."

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Offline jetson

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Re: Is Algebra Necessary?
« Reply #47 on: September 04, 2012, 07:38:08 PM »
Removing compulsory education laws does not remove education.  We need educational institutions, and I definitely agree that continued learning keeps the brain working, and aids in good health into your older years, IMO.

Maybe privatization is key?  I can't help wondering what the private market, minus compulsory laws would do for our overall education system?  I suppose it could be argued that the private market might cause lower income children to miss opportunities, but how do we know for sure?  What if there was a WalMart of private schools, that catered to volume and lower costs to the consumer?  They don't sell the highest quality products, but education quality is not guaranteed through higher prices.

Great topic.

Offline Azdgari

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Re: Is Algebra Necessary?
« Reply #48 on: September 04, 2012, 07:55:14 PM »
Such a system already exists, Jetson.  The private schools are out there.  All you're suggesting is that the public education option be de-funded.

Wonderful idea.  I'm sure Romney would love it.
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Offline jetson

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Re: Is Algebra Necessary?
« Reply #49 on: September 04, 2012, 08:37:35 PM »
Such a system already exists, Jetson.  The private schools are out there.  All you're suggesting is that the public education option be de-funded.

Wonderful idea.  I'm sure Romney would love it.

Because the current system is totally awesome?

Offline rickymooston

Re: Is Algebra Necessary?
« Reply #50 on: September 04, 2012, 08:39:26 PM »
I think some amount of algebra is necessary to provide a balanced education but certainly there are fields that dont need it.
"i had learn to focus i what i could do rather what i couldn't do", Rick Hansen when asked about getting a disabling spinal cord injury at 15. He continues to raise money for spinal cord research and inspire peoople to "make a difference". He doesnt preach any religion.

Offline Azdgari

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Re: Is Algebra Necessary?
« Reply #51 on: September 04, 2012, 09:23:22 PM »
Because the current system is totally awesome?

Nobody suggested that.  Rhetorical device or strawman?

Besides, finding a flaw and automatically chucking the whole thing is like seeing problems with governance and then automatically going for Libertarianism.
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Offline Mr. Blackwell

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Re: Is Algebra Necessary?
« Reply #52 on: September 04, 2012, 10:20:37 PM »
Because the current system is totally awesome?

Nobody suggested that.  Rhetorical device or strawman?

Besides, finding a flaw and automatically chucking the whole thing is like seeing problems with governance and then automatically going for Libertarianism.

Nothing "automatic" about it. Our current system has been in place for over 80 years...If it ain't working by now, what would you propose we do? Keep doing the same thing?

That's the very definition of insanity.



Edit
Corrected for accuracy
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Offline Azdgari

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Re: Is Algebra Necessary?
« Reply #53 on: September 04, 2012, 10:38:43 PM »
I propose looking at why it's going wrong and finding fixes that address those faults.

I am also curious of political parties or movements that advocate less breadth of education for the masses.
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Offline jaimehlers

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Re: Is Algebra Necessary?
« Reply #54 on: September 04, 2012, 10:43:21 PM »
I agree with Azdgari.  That there are problems with the current education system I do not doubt.  But I will need much in the way of evidence to show that throwing it out is a good thing.

Offline Azdgari

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Re: Is Algebra Necessary?
« Reply #55 on: September 04, 2012, 10:49:35 PM »
You know, there are a lot of problems with the public police system.  There's corruption, there's poor practice and treatment of minorities, and on top of it all, crime still exists!

Clearly the solution is to privatize the police force.
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Offline Mr. Blackwell

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Re: Is Algebra Necessary?
« Reply #56 on: September 05, 2012, 12:35:59 AM »
Ever heard of Kentucky windage?

I believe that is what is wrong with every single private and government system we have in place or ever will put in place...unless we learn how to work with it.

Allow me to explain.

In basic combat training there comes a time when we are trained to shoot a rifle. One of the first things we must do is zero the sites in.

The army dedicates one full week to training soldiers how to fire their weapon. It is a basic function. The program has been tried and found true...if you follow the directions.

One of the biggest obstacles to teaching basic marksmanship is breaking people from using Kentucky windage when zeroing their rifles. It comes down to the individual soldier in training to hit their target but ultimately they are expected to use Army standards.

The program and techniques were developed by highly skilled and educated people who understand the mechanics of the weapon and the geometry of the round going down range.

In theory, every soldier should be able to hit 40 out of 40 targets if they use the prescribed method...but they don't use the prescribed method and they don't hit 40 out of 40 targets. Why?

It is impossible for the average soldier to hold the weapon in the exact same place every single time they pull the trigger. As a result, they use Kentucky windage to try to adjust their aim instead of trusting the equations calculated by egg heads they have never met.

Now, let look at the school system for example. There is a prescribed method ,calculated by egg heads you have never met, for the best method of teaching children the basic skills they need to get a job or attend college.

It is impossible for every teacher to implement the prescribed method exactly as it is prescribed. So they adjust because they are expected to show results. They teach to the test. They short cut the system instead of working within it to improve their results. Why?

They need their jobs.

So, it is impossible for the egg heads who tally the results to get an accurate reading of how well the program is working because everyone responsible for delivering said results are gaming the system, which produces a false positive. Think about that when you look at our education system compared to other countries.

Here is another way to think about it.

All major chain restaurants have a very precise policy for preparing their menu items. In theory every item should be prepared using the exact same measurements of ingredients and cooking temperatures every time. This allows for better food cost controls and a better customer experience. Does no good to go to Applebee's on Monday and order a bourbon stake that is absolutely fabulous only to go back on Friday and have a bourbon stake that is shit because a different cook was working.

The Applebee's method for cooking a Cowboy Burger is this

1. Slide hand into Burger Bag(plastic baggie)

2. Pick up the ground beef with the bagged hand.

3. Place the ground beef onto the cooking surface

4. Remove patty paper with the bagged hand if applicable.

5. Immediately discard bag.

6. Use three waves of the grill seasoning shaker to season the top side of the patty.

They use a metal dome to cover the patty once place on the grill. This dome can not be touched by hands or any utensils that may have come into contact with any other raw food.

Cook for about 3 1/2 to 4 minutes then remove the dome with a sterile utensil and flip the patty over

7. Wave the blackened seasoning shaker over the patty 5 times AND add an additional 3 waves of grill seasoning.

8. Add 1/4 cup of shredded white cheddar and bacon (in that order)

9. At this time cook crispy onion topper (this item is prepared by another cook at another station)

10. At this same time place the burger bun on the flat top with 1/4 0z butter to toast.

11. cook for approximately 3 1/2 to 4 minutes. If cheese is not melted you may place into broiler to finish it off.

12. place bun bottom on right side of round plate and spread 2 Tbsp of Southern BBQ sauce around the edge in a circle. Do the same for the top bun.

There are a few other steps for proper presentation but you get the gist.

The patty must be at least 1580F when finished...because of public fear of pink meat most people want their burgers well done...so...1780F

Which takes longer to cook.

Applebee's uses a computer system designed to optimize customer experience with fresh hot food so if there is a well done steak on that order along with the Cowboy Burger, the steak shows up on the screen first and the burger shows up a few minutes later.

Applebee's expects all food to be on the customers table within 12 minutes of the customer placing their order. So by the time the waiter writes it all down, punches it all in at the computer, system organizes everything and sends menu items to appropriate cook stations it could be 8 minutes before the hamburger even shows up on the screen for the Mid cook to see.

If he is really busy he might not see that Cowboy burger for nearly two minutes. So by the time he puts the patty on the grill the customer has already waited anywhere from 5 to 10 minutes. It takes at least 10 minutes to cook a 7oz patty to 1780 So now the managers are screaming for the order. No pressure...can't serve an under cooked burger...it's illegal. If you press the burger down or flatten it so it will cook faster you get yelled at because that is not SOP.
Not supposed to precook any food because that is wasteful if you misjudge and also creates dried out overcooked food...so no go there.

The expectation is impossible to meet. The customer has to have their food hot, fresh and on time so you simply must use Kentucky windage to get that burger cooked. Can't use the standard procedure in the middle of a rush when you have 15 other burgers on your grill.

If you do not cut corners and do the cooking by the book you will never have your food out on time. If you run too many long ticket times you get fired.

You gotta flatten that burger and keep it covered the whole time...maybe even microwave that bitch to get it up to temp. Don't let the managers see you do it.

So the big wigs at corporate go on thinking that their prescribed standard operating procedures are working and have no idea what it feels like to have to be the one to implement their diabolical plans.

Don't rock the boat, don't ask questions, just use Kentucky windage and pretend like you know what you are doing or you will likely be out of work...and that is not a great place to be in this economy.



I show affection for my pets by holding them against me and whispering, "I love you" repeatedly as they struggle to break free.

Offline rickymooston

Re: Is Algebra Necessary?
« Reply #57 on: September 05, 2012, 04:22:29 AM »
Such a system already exists, Jetson.  The private schools are out there.  All you're suggesting is that the public education option be de-funded.

Wonderful idea.  I'm sure Romney would love it.

Americans dont like socialized educstion; its communist ...

 :D
"i had learn to focus i what i could do rather what i couldn't do", Rick Hansen when asked about getting a disabling spinal cord injury at 15. He continues to raise money for spinal cord research and inspire peoople to "make a difference". He doesnt preach any religion.