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  #901  
Old 04-03-2017, 06:40 PM
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Default Re: Fucking education! How does it work?

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Originally Posted by erimir View Post
If you dildn't want people to pronounce it, you stulpid Brits probably shoud've stolped wrilting it.
If you merkins have a problem with how words are spelled you shoulda done your spelling changes properly instead of half-arsed (sorry, half-assed) dropping a few 'u's and stuff here and there (colour, doughnut). :P


Or we could all speak sensible languages that have consistent phonemic orthographies. Like Finnish. Or Italian. :yup:
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  #902  
Old 04-05-2017, 12:51 AM
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Default Re: Fucking education! How does it work?

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Originally Posted by lisarea View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by erimir View Post
Some people do, some people don't. That goes for all the "-alm" words (alms, balm, calm, palm, qualm, psalm... and any I missed).
To be fair, it's not that "some people" don't WANT to pronounce the L sounds in those words. It's that they can't because of their serrated tongues.
You are such a silly goose!
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  #903  
Old 07-17-2017, 10:04 PM
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Default Re: Fucking education! How does it work?

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  #904  
Old 07-31-2017, 04:55 AM
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Default Re: Fucking education! How does it work?

Judging from some of the posts on this forum, I would say that the educational system has totally failed for some people. Peacegirl and Jerome are prime examples.
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  #905  
Old 08-13-2017, 09:31 PM
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Default Re: Fucking education! How does it work?

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  #906  
Old 09-28-2017, 05:02 AM
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  #907  
Old 10-12-2017, 03:41 AM
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  #908  
Old 08-17-2018, 08:40 PM
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Default Re: Fucking education! How does it work?

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  #909  
Old 08-23-2018, 06:22 PM
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Reading Re: Fucking education! How does it work?

This is long, long enough to have gone here, but it's super relevant to this thrad topic. Also, it's old, but I was one of the lucky 10,000 when I saw it for the first time on r/math yesterday, so here you go.

Lockhart's Lament

It's fuckin long, like I said, and it gets repetitive at times, but he really drives the point home. I'll quote some of my favorite parts.

Quote:
The cultural problem is a self-perpetuating monster: students learn about math from their teachers, and teachers learn about it from their teachers, so this lack of understanding and appreciation for mathematics in our culture replicates itself indefinitely. Worse, the perpetuation of this "pseudo-mathematics," this emphasis on the accurate yet mindless manipulation of symbols, creates its own culture and its own set of values. Those who have become adept at it derive a great deal of self-esteem from their success. The last thing they want to hear is that math is really about raw creativity and aesthetic sensitivity. Many a graduate student has come to grief when they discover, after a decade of being told they were "good at math," that in fact they have no real mathematical talent and are just very good at following directions. Math is not about following directions, it's about making new directions.
:brooding: Yep, that was me in grad school. I loved my higher math classes, but they were by far the most challenging classes I have ever taken, and I was absolutely the slowest person in those classes. (They were combined CS/MATH courses and most of the students were math majors. I, on the other hand, dropped my math minor early, specifically because it was too damn hard.)

Quote:
Just because a subject happens to have some mundane practical use does not mean that we have to make that use the focus of our teaching and learning. It may be true that you have to be able to read in order to fill out forms at the DMV, but that’s not why we teach children to read. We teach them to read for the higher purpose of allowing them access to beautiful and meaningful ideas. Not only would it be cruel to teach reading in such a way -- to force third graders to fill out purchase orders and tax forms -- it wouldn't work! We learn things because they interest us now, not because they might be useful later. But this is exactly what we are asking children to do with math.
The doc is basically 23 pages of the same metaphor. What if we taught music/art/history/literature the way we teach math?

Quote:
Children can write poems and stories as they learn to read and write. A piece of writing by a six-year-old is a wonderful thing, and the spelling and punctuation errors don't make it less so. Even very young children can invent songs, and they haven't a clue what key it is in or what type of meter they are using.
...
Mathematics is not a language, it's an adventure. Do musicians "speak another language" simply because they choose to abbreviate their ideas with little black dots? If so, it's no obstacle to the toddler and her song.
Also I enjoyed this bit of historical perspective:

Quote:
High school students must learn to use the secant function, 'sec x,' as an abbreviation for the reciprocal of the cosine function, '1 / cos x,'. That
this particular shorthand, a holdover from fifteenth century nautical tables, is still with us (whereas others, such as the "versine" have died out) is mere historical accident, and is of utterly no value in an era when rapid and precise shipboard computation is no longer an issue.
:giggles:

Finally, if you don't read the whole doc, do at least read the conclusion on the last 2 pages, "the first ever completely honest course catalog for K-12 mathematics".

Here's a taste:

Quote:
ALGEBRA I. So as not to waste valuable time thinking about numbers and their patterns, this course instead focuses on symbols and rules for their manipulation. The smooth narrative thread that leads from ancient Mesopotamian tablet problems to the high art of the Renaissance algebraists is discarded in favor of a disturbingly fractured, post-modern retelling with no characters, plot, or theme. The insistence that all numbers and expressions be put into various standard forms will provide additional confusion as to the meaning of identity and equality. Students must also memorize the quadratic formula for some reason.
:lol:
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  #910  
Old 08-23-2018, 09:31 PM
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Default Re: Fucking education! How does it work?

I've probably told this story before, but when I started high school, they'd test students to determine which class they went to, and I tested into the advanced math class, and it suuuuucked on almost every level.

I mean, when I first walked in, the teacher thought I was lost, so I showed him my schedule and he called the office thinking they'd made a mistake, and I was thirteen and I'd just moved there a couple weeks earlier and I was the only girl in the room and everyone was staring at me and I thought I was going to throw up. I include this as a preamble, and for context.

Anyway, that guy accused me of cheating constantly, and always publicly. He told us to show our work, which I assumed meant that I should include the notes I needed to write down, but apparently, he meant we had to write down every single step of everything we did, including simple addition and subtraction and other things you'd just do in your head, in standard format. He accused me of copying someone else's work.

Another time, I worked out some problems he'd given us, and he accused me of cheating because I hadn't used the longer, stupider formula he'd had us memorize, and he said--wait for it--I couldn't have solved the problem myself, because it was impossible unless you'd memorized the formula. He--the high school AP math teacher--had no concept of how math even worked at all. I don't know if he thought it was magic, or if maybe he thought 'math' was some artificial, prescriptive construct that people had invented, or what. He literally didn't know that you could figure out math problems.

I don't know if they talk about this in that article because I skimmed over parts of it, but there have been proposals that we should stop teaching math as a discrete subject, and like this guy says, apply it, but in the context of other topics. It sounds scary at first the idea of eliminating it from grade schools and all, but it's obviously not working. Maybe "math class" could be a one-off deal, where sometime in high school or so, you learn things like orders of operation and what different symbols mean, sort of how they used to teach shorthand and typing and stuff. Because that's all that really is: It's just a shorthand way to transcribe things.
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  #911  
Old 08-23-2018, 10:00 PM
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Default Re: Fucking education! How does it work?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ensign Steve View Post
Also I enjoyed this bit of historical perspective:

Quote:
High school students must learn to use the secant function, 'sec x,' as an abbreviation for the reciprocal of the cosine function, '1 / cos x,'. That
this particular shorthand, a holdover from fifteenth century nautical tables, is still with us (whereas others, such as the "versine" have died out) is mere historical accident, and is of utterly no value in an era when rapid and precise shipboard computation is no longer an issue.
:giggles:
:orly:

I had occasion to check out versine and haversine recently. Distance between two points given in latitude and longitude.
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  #912  
Old 08-23-2018, 10:55 PM
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Default Re: Fucking education! How does it work?

I agree with most of that essay, but I must note that my experiences of both middle school geometry (7th grade, I think; I was really advanced) and high school calculus (10th grade) didn’t much resemble Lockhart’s descriptions of them. The approach I was taught in geometry focused on inductive rather than deductive reasoning: instead of deriving proofs by stringing together a bunch of abstract principles, we derived them by identifying patterns. It was almost certainly much more interesting as a result.

I don’t remember calculus nearly as well, but a good chunk of the class was definitely devoted to answering why things were done a certain way rather than simply having us memorise a number of formulas. We had to memorise those formulas, of course, since they were part of the BC Calculus test, but I’m almost certain we were given demonstrations of why they worked the way they did. I think Leibniz and Newton’s independent discoveries of calculus may even have been part of the curriculum.

I certainly agree with the central thesis of the essay that mathematics is a subject that can be an outlet for creativity, and that there is none of that left in the clinical, sterile approach that permeates most mathematics curricula these days. I’m not sure if we can completely strip out the arithmetic and various other rules from the curriculum without losing something, but they certainly shouldn’t be the exclusive or even primary focus of the pedagogy. I probably learned at least as much from just doing my own experiments with various principles we learned in class as I did from the homework.

And really, there are certain things no one is ever likely to use. Like probably almost everyone else in this country between ages 25 and 50, I don’t remember how to do long division, but I’ve only once as an adult been in a situation where it would’ve been at all helpful, and it still isn’t likely to have caused me any significant harm that I didn’t remember it.

One other flaw in the curriculum that this essay only addressed obliquely, but which certainly doesn’t afflict the essay itself, is that most textbooks are simply boring. This isn’t simply a flaw with mathematics textbooks; it’s a flaw throughout academia, particularly in STEM fields, and I don’t entirely know what can be done to fix it. I’m not even 100% sure what all the causes are, though I think the nature of the curricula probably contributes to some extent, as is the fact that many scholars are, to be frank, bad writers.

I almost feel everyone who publishes in academia should be legally required to re-read Orwell’s “Politics and the English Language” every five years or so; his advice isn’t flawless, but it’s unlikely that anyone who follows it will produce the bland writing that permeates not merely so much political science writing but so much academic writing of any strand. And to be honest, I noticed one case where Lockhart used “it’s” when he should’ve used “its”, but he’s still a much better writer than 95% of the textbook authors I’ve been subjected to over the course of my many years in school. I’ll give the textbook authors a slight amount of slack in that they have an almost insurmountable task in making their writing interesting, but there’s a bland tone that permeates so many textbooks that’s simply a recipe for zzzzzzz.
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  #913  
Old 08-28-2018, 07:30 PM
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  #914  
Old 08-28-2018, 10:09 PM
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Default Re: Fucking education! How does it work?

The linguist in me feels it necessary to point out that connotations refer to the cultural and emotional associations a word carries.

For example, "strong-willed" and "pig-headed" both denote "stubborn" but the connotations are different, as strong-willed is positive while pig-headed is negative (example from Wikipedia).

The components of "booty call" and "butt dial" are roughly synonymous, but as compound nouns, they do not denote the same thing. They are not synonyms.

For example, "Jeb!" and "John Ellis Bush!" denote the same thing, but "John Ellis Bush!" connotes confusion ("...who?") while "Jeb!" connotes excitement.
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  #915  
Old 08-28-2018, 10:38 PM
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:secretlaugh:
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  #916  
Old 08-28-2018, 11:27 PM
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Default Re: Fucking education! How does it work?

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"Jeb!" connotes excitement.
Please clap.
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Old 08-29-2018, 05:28 AM
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