Country Living Series

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Fifty years of math (and why we homeschool)

This is one of those internet jokes running around....unfortunately not so funny...

Fifty Years of Math in the U.S. (1959 – 2009)


Last week I purchased a burger at Burger King for $1.58. The counter girl took my $2 and I was digging for my change when I pulled eight cents from my pocket and gave it to her. She stood there, holding the nickel and three 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?

11 comments:

  1. you just made my day

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  2. OOOH, scathing, but so true!

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  3. That is so true! I am a teacher in Texas and we were just talking the other day about how watered-down the curriculum is. I won't even talk about the "Science" and "History" books that we quietly refuse to use. Some of us know the system is broken, and we know how to fix it, but unfortunately we don't have the power to make widespread change, so we just do our best in our classrooms everyday. I keep teaching because I am a single mom and I have a family to support. I homeschooled when I was married, and one of the most common comments my kids have about being in public school now is "if I am going to be forced to sit there all day, they should teach me something, or at least shut up and let me learn something on my own." I read all of your posts, and you are very inspiring. I have been thinking about getting back to what I know is a better way of life for several years and this summer I might just do it. Thanks again, Tina H.

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  4. Yep. There are only three kinds of people: Those that can count, and those that can't!

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  5. Took the dogs to the vet this a.m. He said the 62lb.border collie needed to lose 10% of his weight. I said that he should be able to lose 6lbs. The vet looked surprised and said that most people that come in don't even know what that 10% would mean. I said well, public schools, and he shook his head in agreement. His kids and my grandkids go to the same co-op together for homeschooling. It is amazing what kids can't do today! By the way, my punctuation and grammar are lacking as I went to Egypt school my whole life. I've learned more out of school than in it!

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  6. You're right...I don't know whether to laugh or cry. I guess there's too much truth in it.

    I've been homeschooling for 14 years now, and I like being reminded why.

    Found your blog a few weeks ago, but this is my first comment. Love the politics. Love the farming life. Thanks for sharing it all! :)

    Julia

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  7. Kudos for a nice post made me laugh!!!!!

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  8. I hope you won't take offense if I try to correct the Spanish version. Maybe it was meant to be like that. I don't know.
    Anyway, it should be: "Un leñador vende una carretada de madera por $100. Su costo de producción es de $80. ¿Cuál es su margen de ganancias?"
    I came over after Survival blog linked to you, and I have to say I really like your blog. I miss living in a farm.*sigh*

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  9. Thanks, Kiki-chan. The joke came that way, and since I don't speak Spanish I didn't know it was incorrect.

    And welcome to my blog (smile).

    - Patrice

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  10. New to your site and going through your archives. Have found myself chuckling at a number of your posts. This one really had me going though. Thanks

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  11. New to your site and going through your archives. Have found myself chuckling at a number of your posts. This one really had me going though. Thanks

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