Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Comments on Common Criteria

I was going to comment on Common Core and how it approaches Math, but it's already been done.



Actually, base 8 is just like binary, but that's not important ...

64?

How did 64 get into it?  I hear you ask ...
I know my commenters, so please - let's not see the same hands ...

8 comments:

ASM826 said...

There are 10 kinds of people in the world, those who understand binary and those who don't.

burt said...

Lehrer had the Department of Education's number (ahem) before it even existed!

50 years later, and nothing has changed... except that few computer programmers use octal nowadays...

Dirk said...

These days, they teach them 10 different ways to do a simple arithmetic problem, instead of one or two good ways. They don't teach them shortcuts, they don't drill them on the multiplication table, they don't work with them on simple, basic, 1- and 2-digit arithmetic. And then, when they test them, they expect them to have learned all 10 ways to do the problems. And here, I thought the point of teaching different techniques was because kids learn things differently.

And don't get me started on the ridiculous and unnecessary changes to terminology, such that I can't even help my kids with their math any more, and this despite being one class away from a minor in math. Equations are now "number stories", just to give one particularly offensive example.

Dave H said...

Dirk, it's not as bad as all that. I had to study "new math" but my kids (All graduated in the past 15 years) didn't. Their math lessons were properly sensible.

But let's not talk about social studies.

Dirk said...

Sorry, but I think it *is* as bad as all that.

My kids are 13 and 16. 10 different ways was a slight exaggeration, but they were definitely taught and tested on at least 6 ways of doing simple arithmetic, rather than one or two good ways. And, they were definitely not drilled on the simple arithmetic and multiplication tables. They didn't get taught "order of magnitude" estimates, so they often don't know if their answer is even in the ballpark.

I learned the "new math" way of subtraction, as described by Tom in the video, but we called it "borrowing". That's one of the methods they teach in schools now, but they call it something else, and it's not the preferred method.

The problem with trying to teach multiple methods is that you can't teach all of them in the depth needed to get through the thick skull of your average elementary-school kid.

And then, when they get to "higher" math in middle school and high school, they haven't learned the foundation, and often bomb tests because even if they understand the concepts, their basic arithmetic skills fail them.

It doesn't help anyone that they keep changing the curriculum, either. My kids, despite going through the same elementary and middle schools, and despite my son being a year ahead in math and technically only 1 year behind his sister in math, had different things taught to them, with different standards.

And, no...let's not talk about social studies, or the lack of geography and history instruction.

The current state of education is a sad one, with teachers (and I know several, personally, so I'm not just talking in generalities) forced to teach the kids how to take the tests, rather than focusing on imparting knowledge in the topics they're teaching.

Knucklehead said...

Octal?!?!? How old are you ancients? Even I learned hex and older 'an dirt.

dehakal said...

Debugging in HP Fortran 4.
You got an error at a binary location, based on an octal base point, which was conveyed via a hexadecimal offset.

Dave H said...

I've never used octal professionally, but I know of a couple of processor architectures where it's handy for understanding what certain machine opcodes do.