1950 – 2013, How Math Backslides

This is so true. I did not write it. It came from an old friend. Thanks to the writer. Not only are young students mostly incapable of working math, they read very poorly and know absolutely no history.

We do know George Santayana, Spanish-American writer, poet and philosopher said, “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.”

It is another great failure on the part of American educators that our young people have not been taught our history! They don’t forget history. They never knew it.

Years of Math 1950 – 2013

Last week I purchased a burger at Burger King for $2.58. The counter girl

took my $ 3 and I was digging for my change when I pulled 8 cents from my

pocket and gave it to her. She stood there, holding the nickel and 3

pennies, while looking at the screen on her register. I sensed her

discomfort and tried to tell her to just give me two quarters , but she

hailed the manager for help. While he tried to explain the transaction to

her, she stood there and cried. Why do I tell you this?   Because of the

evolution in teaching math since the 1950s:

1. Teaching Math In 1950s

        A logger sells a truckload of lumber for $100. His cost of

production is 4/5 of the price. What is his profit ?

2. Teaching Math In  1960s

        A logger sells a truckload of lumber for $100. His cost of

production is 4/5 of the price, or $80. What is his profit?

3.  Teaching Math In 1970s

        A logger sells a truckload of lumber for $100. His cost of

production is $80. Did he make a profit?

4. Teaching Math In 1980s

        A logger sells a truckload of lumber for $100. His cost of

production is $80 and his profit is $20. Your assignment: Underline the

number 20.

5. Teaching Math In 1990s

        A logger cuts down a beautiful forest because he is selfish and

inconsiderate and cares nothing for the habitat of animals or the

preservation of our woodlands. He does this so he can make a profit of

$20. What do you think  of this way of making a living? Topic for class

participation after answering the question: How did the birds and

squirrels feel as the logger cut down their homes? (There are no wrong 

answers, and if you feel like crying, it’s ok. )

6. Teaching Math In 2009

        Un hachero vende una carretada de maderapara $100. El costo de la

producciones es $80. Cuanto dinero ha hecho?

7.  Teaching Math In 2013

        Who cares, just steal the lumber from your rich neighbor’s property.

He won’t have a gun to stop you, and the President says it’s OK anyway

because it’s redistributing the wealth.

I have commented on history here but what is math if not history?

There is no end to the story. If we do not educate young people we are lost. They don’t have a clue as to how we became the greatest nation in the world.

As a wind up to a beautiful Memorial Day. it’s sad to reflect that many, many young people do not appreciate what our brave and courageous men and women in the US Armed Forces have done for us. They cannot appreciate something of which they are totally ignorant.