On 13 Aug 2011, at 22:16, smi...@zonnet.nl wrote:

By not teaching math to kids, we are dumbing down the next generation. Of course, most people do not have a talent for math, but then most people do not have a talent for writing either. A few hundered years ago, only a small fraction of the population was taught to read and write. If you had proposed hat everyone should learn it, you would have been ridiculed.

The argument that we shouldn't teach math to children because it isn't of direct use to most people, is a nonsensical argument. We don't apply that argument to any school subject, except to math and physics (perhaps also astronomy, we don't teach anything about that in school).

So, while there isn't much practical use in knowing a lot about Europe in the Middle ages, we do spend quite a lot of time about this subject already in primary school. This does add a lot to the cultural baggage of children as they grow up. You can make the same argument about astronomy, physics and math. Surely, being able to understand at some appropriate level how the elements were formed in stars, how the Sun formed etc. etc. would add a lot to the general background of citizens.

If people would not learn about history, literature, etc. a lot of our culture would de-facto go to waste. If no one knows about the works of Shakespeare, then it wouldn't matter if Shakespeare had not bothered to write his plays.

In case of math and physics, we are actually in this sort of a situation. The great masses are scientific illiterates, most of the scientific achievements, even the ancient ones are inaccesible to most, simply because we choose not teach science in schools, beyond the very basics.

This does have some negative consequences for society. E.g. most people cannot see through the nonsensical arguments put forward by climate change deniers, the position people have on this is then determined by their political color, (particularly in the US as there the Republican party mostly denies global warming caused by man).


I can only agree with you. Math is not taught enough, and not in the best spirit.

And we pay the hard price.

I think that something like prohibition would not even exist if people were taught a bit of logic, or at least would not last for long. Sometimes I got the feeling that this absence of teaching is made on purpose to help demagogy and manipulation.

Many want the human science as non rigorous at all, so thy can offer position arbitrary, in some rotten academies. The lack of math, and the (artificial) separation between human and exact sciences, helps a lot. But in fine it makes the exact and the human sciences both inhuman and inexact.

It is a pity that politics and media are not independent, but now politics and academy are neither too, as your examples and others suggest.

Bruno


Citeren Pilar Morales <pilarmorales...@gmail.com>:

I agree that math should probably not be taught in school, but algebra. In elementary school. But, all the student's questions would lead to math...

On Sat, Aug 13, 2011 at 11:33 AM, John Mikes <jami...@gmail.com> wrote:

After a resounding "NO" the question: "who's math?" I find it absolutely
inevitable to include in the obligatory general school curriculum "a
certain" math, necessary to calculate, to balance a check-book, to file a tax return, to make (basic) business accounting and the practical 'figuring out' of life's quantitative aspects. Not the Euler theorem, or a Cauchy integral. Also a glimps of concepts like imaginary, complex, infinite, calculus, etc. not to the level of application, but at least to a dictionary
identification.
I find it belonging to a general educational level, way above of the
average newscast<G>.
There are many kids with definite 'antitalent' for math, they should not be tortured, just taught conceptually. It should not be a go/no go for college, in general. Somebody can write beautiful historic poems, paint, or write a
symphony without calculus-knowledge.
A heart-surgeon can operate without knowing the math of a
pacemaker-physics.
And it may be a 'godsend' if economists would not be mathematicians, rather
normal, logical people.
Anyway the "pretty girls" are no real authorities in the question.



On Fri, Aug 12, 2011 at 10:03 PM, meekerdb <meeke...@verizon.net> wrote:

**
Are you the kind of person who knows math?

http://videosift.com/video/Miss-USA-2011-Should-Math-Be-Taught-In-Schools

Brent

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http://iridia.ulb.ac.be/~marchal/



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