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1. Originally Posted by Cygnus
Calculators should be prohibited from the more basic of arithmetic equations. You should learn to multiply and long-divide large numbers in your head. In the wild, there is no paper and pencil.

Curriculum should have a greater focus on actively associating each individual technique and scenario with multiple instances of real-world application, an understanding of how the problems are used and why logic dictates that they function this way, otherwise the techniques will inevitably fade from student memory upon even slight disuse. All learning is by Association. Association must have meaning.

You know why we're typing right now on computers, right? We were taught how to write. We only gained ability to write lucratively when we understood the meanings behind all words said, all comparisons drawn, all abstractions made. All of these things are tied to words we learned to associate with objects or ideas, not because we chose to, but because the stimulus was constant, because we needed to identify everything in order to understand everything.

Similarly, you can't take mathematics to a higher level unless the students are regularly practicing every technique as commonly as we practice speaking and writing in daily life. To do this, we must be directed and trained how to associate higher and higher types of equation with broader and broader fields of problems. Once we learn how to apply equations to scenarios, we can learn to figure out to associate new equations to new problems in new ways, and mathematics will indeed become like a language.
Ditto for Physics.
But what about those who cannot keep up as efficiently as others? Do you leave some behind or do you teach to the lowest denominator? Should those who are not able to perform to the standards of the class abandon math altogether?

I think that instead of breaking different mathematical categories into different years, one standard math class should be taught year to year. As in as the class reaches the middle of one group of associated patterns of math another is introduced to supplement the material of the previous, and on and again. In depth overview of topic, what the topic actually means, and then how it relates to the topics before and after it. You could introduce geometry and then incorporate reasons why it ties in to trigonometry.

All in all I suppose I would say that teaching about the subject before teaching how to use a subject would be my view. Just build two steps forward, one back, one to the left and then one to the right, and keep building until you have a solid foundation instead of just laying down blocks without taking the time to cement them together.

I know this is pretty similar to what you just said.

2. I can do addition and subtraction on paper if decimals are not involved. Division? Multiplication? Can't do it without a calculator.

They always said "You won't have a calculator in your pocket when you graduate!" Uh... phone calculator. I'm good.

The truth is just, not all jobs need math. Some do, yes, very IMPORTANT jobs require a lot of complex math. But why force the kids like me who just suck at it and can not retain any of it after the test is over to keep taking more and more advanced math classes just to graduate?? High school should be more like college, I think. Instead of picking a degree, you pick a "course track" of some sort. Some are more math heavy. Some are more science heavy. Some are more literature-heavy. These courses would not block out the other subjects completely--just have less of it. That makes so much more sense to me. Like, if I suck that bad at math, you can bet your ass I'd NEVER go to college to become an engineer. So why force me to take so many advanced math classes when I'm just going to find a job with less math instead, since I'm so bad at it???? You know?

3. Well my middle school/junior high(or whats the equivalent in finland) grades were(on scale of 4=fail and 10=best):

Behavior - 8
Finnish - 6
Swedish - 6
English - 8
This pagan thing for those who doesent belong to church where we studied different religions, philosophies etc - 8
History - 7
Math - 7 (+ optional course 7)
Chemistry - 7
Physics - 7 (+ optional course 8)
Biology - 6 (+ optional course 7)
Geography - 6
Music - 7 (+ optional course 8)
Visual arts - 8 (+ optional course 9)
Hand crafts - 7 (+ optional course project work thing 9)
Cooking and some other home education stuff - 7 (+ optional course 7)
Physical education/training - 7
IT - 8
Philosophy - Passed, they didnt give grade for this
I dont have no idea how to translate this one, but basically teaching about how markets work and teaches about managing your own business etc - 9

Basically i didnt give a fuck and those numbers are pretty much what i got without reading much at all or doing any home work and trying to get away of nearly all things that we were required to do in school. So the numbers are pretty much about how much im interested about the topic, i didnt have to struggle at all, because i didnt care enough . I happened to have my graduation paper next to me when i saw the topic :P
The most problematic thing for me in general is to memorize things that i dont really understand(i need to have understanding to remember something, and then i remember the understanding of the thing rather than specific thing i should remember), especially if i dont care about them either.

4. Originally Posted by INTP
I dont have no idea how to translate this one, but basically teaching about how markets work and teaches about managing your own business etc - 9
Is it economics? The one that comes to mind for me that sounds like a class I took in high school is economics. I did really bad at that one

5. Originally Posted by 21lux
Is it economics? The one that comes to mind for me that sounds like a class I took in high school is economics. I did really bad at that one
Well economics is bit broader thing, but those are part of economics yes

6. I know that some people just not like it. And I don't want to make everyone to study advanced math. I just think there is a reason why it was a nightmare for so many people. Usually they say like @21lux that they sucked at it. So maybe there is a way to change it?

Common mistake of teachers is that they teach only pattern. Then students read exercise and pick the pattern and follow it. I was even told by math teacher that is easier for students that way. I don’t think so, it’s probably easier for teacher to check exercises done the same way.

I believe teaching like this is the reason why, when there is described practical problem, it’s hard for students to put it in numbers. So as @Cygnus compared learning math to learning how to write, it’s like they teach few sentences instead of teaching alphabet. I know there is limited time, but it is very important to make basics understandable, to show various ways to solve problem, how to follow logic to create the pattern and not pattern itself. It should be done on every level of difficulty from the very beginning. Then I believe less students would hate math...

7. Originally Posted by Kas
I know that some people just not like it. And I don't want to make everyone to study advanced math. I just think there is a reason why it was a nightmare for so many people. Usually they say like @21lux that they sucked at it. So maybe there is a way to change it?

Common mistake of teachers is that they teach only pattern. Then students read exercise and pick the pattern and follow it. I was even told by math teacher that is easier for students that way. I don’t think so, it’s probably easier for teacher to check exercises done the same way.

I believe teaching like this is the reason why, when there is described practical problem, it’s hard for students to put it in numbers. So as @Cygnus compared learning math to learning how to write, it’s like they teach few sentences instead of teaching alphabet. I know there is limited time, but it is very important to make basics understandable, to show various ways to solve problem, how to follow logic to create the pattern and not pattern itself. It should be done on every level of difficulty from the very beginning. Then I believe less students would hate math...
The math where all you had to do was follow a formula/pattern was actually the only part of it I was able to understand, because the numbers by themselves don't make any sense to me so I just kind plugged in the formula closed my eyes and crossed my fingers and hoped it worked and it usually did

8. Right, while not everyone is going to go into something heavily math based, the problem solving methods that could be learned from the subject could be extremely helpful in assisting the development of logical thought processes that could assist in making sense of the world and help evaluate possible solutions to problems, from problems to solve in your mind to whatever may come up in the outside world. It isn't what math is learned, but what is learned from the math that is important. Not everyone is going to place as much practical importance on math, but everyone could benefit in some way from better improved, more flexible, and broadly taught more individually tailored teachings of math. It is sad that the subject has been reduced to something as arduous and mundane as just applying a formula to problems and ignoring why you are doing what you are doing. Math should not be a chore for anyone, and I believe that much of peoples frusteration with math is based off of years and years of scattered understandings caused by a teaching system that is just badly broken.

9. I mainly don't like math because unlike subjects like English, which are open-ended, math questions are like: right or wrong. You did it right or you didn't. Yeah, word problems try to add "practical" applications (although most of them are more amusing than practical), but at least in essays you can do it your own way and there's no one right/wrong way to do it. I think the thing I mostly hate about math is that it's not... well... I don't think realistic is the right word. It's too abstract, I guess? Like, I get that you APPLY it to real-world situations and at that point it becomes practical, but the way they teach it, it's all just numbers and signs and blegh. And then they throw in imaginary numbers and roots and radical equations and it's like... I'm out. I'd much rather learn problem solving from experience and just doing what feels right at the time than by trying to put math into it, but hey, that doesn't mean math's not important, and kudos to anyone who actually understands any of what's going on with that.

10. Originally Posted by Hard
I for one, hate puzzles. They can solve themselves.
Good thing life is so straightforward and there are no mysteries.

Actually now I think on it I can't really remember any specifics about being taught in school. Most of what I learned I did on my own at home when I was interested. For example maths is not a strong subject for me (or many here it seems) but I make an effort to do mental calculations and so on partly because of my jobs but mainly because I thought it was important.

But I have to keep at it, I tend to lose the flow the second I stop practising or doing work related to numbers. I'm not sure if there is a particular method that would help me retain this information, but I would probably be open to it if it wasn't too time consuming.

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