Monday, August 19, 2013

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Cornhusker said...

"How would you calculate the annual carbon emissions from electric versus gas vehicles in the EU?" This question puts me to shame. I would have been unable to provide an answer. Is this because my U.S. math education was horrible?

Marty Nemko said...

Perhaps. I came up with that answer, I believe, without relying on anything I was ever taught. Candidly, I just thought about it for a moment and then used common sense logic.

Maria Lopez said...

While you were not taught those facts, required practice in the skills of quantitative reasoning probably made it easier.

Still, I agree with you that doing such problems is easier for some than others, while the ability to do such problems is probably strongly correlated with g, it should be teachable to some extent but I have no idea how to teach it as such reasoning seems fairly alien to many.

Certainly, I don't know if more word problems, the thing I'd expect to help actually would do.

I do know that not everybody who can do such reasoning ordinarily does so, since while it's essential to running technological societies on an individual or family level you can go for years without running into such problems.

Cornhusker said...

Maria, thank you for your enlightening reply. I believe more word problems would have helped my generation. However, those stopped after 3rd grade (1971) when new math was introduced. By the way, the new math had previously been taught in California and was later exported to the Midwest. Big mistake.


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