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#1
11-30-2007, 12:16 AM
 Misfire Senior Member Join Date: Mar 2005 Location: Nowhere Posts: 2,907
If math were a color, it would be...

I read an article today criticizing the University of Chicago's "Everyday Math" program. They portrayed it as a touchy-feely, low-content, "fuzzy math" program that prevented students from learning anything useful about math. It's apparently plagued with questions like "If math were a color, it would be _______ because ________."

The program's web site has a gallery of student work, some of which does seem to be silly and low-content.

This is a drawing by a kindergartener of what appears to be a beta fish.

Not bad, and probably an age-appropriate activity using geometric shapes.

This, however, is by a 5th grader. WTF??

Other stuff was rather impressive given the age groups.

This was made by a 1st grader. Notice how he demonstrated the relationship between 2s and 4s in various ways, even using division. I was in the gifted program at my school, and I didn't touch division until I think the 4th grade.

Other projects included an algorithm for dividing numbers by 5, letters sent to the University of Chicago criticizing their use of 4.10 after 4.9 in chapter headings (these appeared to be form-letterish, as if the teacher prompted them what to write), and a 5th grader's detailed plan for allocating \$1 million in expenses for taking care of homeless people during the holidays (I'm not sure where you can buy 5 pairs of panties for 100 women all for \$300, but I don't know the wholesale market that well either).

Anyway, I teach GMAT and GRE math to adults who often times don't know the very basics, and it's troubling. These people probably learned under a more traditional system, but it didn't work. The article accuses teachers of just handing out useless worksheets, which I could see as a problem under any system. I'm just curious if anyone was familiar with the "Everyday Math" program and if it's really just fluff, "new math" revisited, or something that might actually be beneficial to students.

Discuss.
#2
11-30-2007, 01:39 AM
 furyshade Senior Member Join Date: Apr 2006 Posts: 4,705
Re: If math were a color, it would be...

Red.
#3
11-30-2007, 05:04 AM
 tame_deuces Senior Member Join Date: Oct 2005 Posts: 1,494
Re: If math were a color, it would be...

It is probably good. Too much heavy emphasis on formalized math could potentially remove much of the intuitivity of it, creating a barrier between the paper math and everyday situations.

I think it is important that they don't lose grip completely though, because the same is obviously true the other way around and we do need formalized math also.

Ultimately I think it is gold if they manage to bridge the gap between everyday applications of math and formalized math, math is a wonderful way of logic usable in most of life's situations and I think we'd all be better off if it was more common to apply it.
#4
11-30-2007, 05:30 AM
 dragonystic Senior Member Join Date: Mar 2005 Location: Omelettes FTW Posts: 1,075
Re: If math were a color, it would be...

It would be black, because I said so.
#5
11-30-2007, 05:44 AM
 tame_deuces Senior Member Join Date: Oct 2005 Posts: 1,494
Re: If math were a color, it would be...

[ QUOTE ]
It would be black, because I said so.

[/ QUOTE ]

Black isn't a colour! [img]/images/graemlins/grin.gif[/img]

Other than that math is obv dark blue.
#6
11-30-2007, 06:25 AM
 scorcher863 Member Join Date: Jun 2007 Posts: 91
Re: If math were a color, it would be...

I like my math to have angel wings and to play lead guitar for lynard skinard.
#7
11-30-2007, 11:40 AM
 MoP_86 Senior Member Join Date: Apr 2005 Posts: 271
Re: If math were a color, it would be...

white
#8
11-30-2007, 06:07 PM
 hitch1978 Senior Member Join Date: Aug 2007 Posts: 466
Re: If math were a color, it would be...

I have faith that any teacher that puts any effort at all into trying to change the system is doing so for the right reasons. I think all, if not most, teachers do it because they genuinely want to help people learn and make a difference.

If someone in this boat decides that it is worth the effort to try something different, I have trouble disagreeing with them.

Only time will tell if it actually is something that adds value to the education system.

Look at the work that is currently on the cusp of acceptance WRT reading/writing and dyslexia.
#9
11-30-2007, 06:09 PM
 vhawk01 Senior Member Join Date: Feb 2006 Location: GHoFFANMWYD Posts: 9,098
Re: If math were a color, it would be...

[ QUOTE ]
[ QUOTE ]
It would be black, because I said so.

[/ QUOTE ]

Black isn't a colour! [img]/images/graemlins/grin.gif[/img]

Other than that math is obv dark blue.

[/ QUOTE ]

As long as we can all agree that, by the process of elimination, we can determine that electrons taste like grape-ade.
#10
11-30-2007, 08:00 PM
 Senor Cardgage Senior Member Join Date: Jan 2005 Location: Re-financin\' Posts: 1,080
Re: If math were a color, it would be...

[ QUOTE ]
Other projects included [...] letters sent to the University of Chicago criticizing their use of 4.10 after 4.9 in chapter headings (these appeared to be form-letterish, as if the teacher prompted them what to write)

[/ QUOTE ]

Now this part is silly. Clearly 4.10 represents the 10th section in Chapter 4, and as such isn't really any kind of decimal representation. Maybe "4-10" would look better, but who wants a Chapter -6?

EDIT: Also, what's with the "If math were a color..." thing? I've never understood that kind of question making a bit of sense to anybody but a synesthetic. Heh, I'd actually be interested to hear what color math would be from some color synesthetics, though I don't know if words evoke colors like numbers and sounds might. I've heard that some get tastes from different words. Now I'm just rambling.

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