Monday, August 24, 2009

Hebrews, Star Wars, and Elementary Schools

This post started as a rant about some of the homework my 8 and 9 year old are getting. Questions trying to break down math problems into little steps or with alternative methods. I understand what they're trying to do and maybe some of it occasionally succeeds...

... but a lot of it is about as stupid as the kind of extreme phonics they teach at some schools. My children can do the math. But their mother and I often stare with puzzled looks on our faces, along with them, when they are asked to break down questions with obvious answers into minute mental steps.

Thinking just doesn't happen like that... (and anyone who thinks it helps first graders read to have them memorize all the alternative phonemes associated with two and three letter combinations is an imbecile). If my kids can't make heads or tails of this approach to math, I assure you the struggler might as well just go outside and make farting noises with their armpits and flap their arms like a chicken. It's not going to happen.

And on a completely unrelated note, here is an interesting presentation of Hebrews 1:1-4 via Star Wars, posted on YouTube (Aaron Rathburn, also posted by James McGrath and Jared Callaway):


Scrammy said...

Ok, Ok...

If I understand correctly,

1) the PROBLEM is that schools teach children misleading processes to use in math

2) CLARIFYING, these misleading processes are facilitated regardless of their ineffectiveness toward good thinking

3) the RESULT is this perplexes yourself and wife

4) BECAUSE Hebrews looks way cool in a skewed, scrolling perspective.

jeff said...

Scrammy, you got it! But just wait until your little one comes home carrying homework with instructions you can't understand!

Tim Kirkes said...

To add to the new "math" frustration and speaking from experience: Today's elementary school teachers don't always get it and struggle to teach it.