April 2, 2012 Two questions have been forming in my mind for quite some time. No matter how many peo
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5 thoughts on “Moving Forward, We Need a Consensus

  1. I believe that the problem is that kids don’t enjoy math. For youngsters, they perform much better in subjects they enjoy. Here is a sample video of how to make math more engaging and fun, even when learning something as dry as the Pythagorean Theorem.

    1. Thanks for sharing this video. While it is entertaining to see and hear Darth Vader, I don’t think a video like this is more effective than a teacher (otherwise, maybe the teacher should dress up as Darth Vader?) and definitely not as effective as, say, a project in which students determine which length of a ladder they should get in order to climb to the roof of a 20-foot house.

      I also dislike the standard way of teaching the Pythagorean Theorem, which is by always calling the legs a and b and the hypotenuse c. Students think they must memorize “a squared plus b squared equals c squared,” but emphasis should be shifted from memorization to understanding.

  2. “Half of China’s students go into math, science, or engineering, compared to only 13% of American kids.”….
    Isnt this simply because (compared to other professions in China) engineering and science based jobs pay quite well; unlike in US?

    China’s education system isnt better, and it doesnt matter how science education is improved in US. Math/science require commitment, and unless the payoff is there (ie higher paying jobs compared to other professions), students will continue ignoring math/science in favor of law/management/politics

    1. I also think that fewer American students go into STEM professions because their value is de-emphasized as the number of these jobs diminishes due to increased outsourcing. One way in which the value of STEM jobs is de-emphasized is that students have fewer role models in these fields as more and more of these jobs are outsourced to countries like China and India. It’s a cycle: middle-class, technology jobs are outsourced –> fewer students aspire to these professions –> fewer students see the value of studying STEM topics –> fewer Americans have these skills –> more tech jobs are outsourced because the skills can’t be found here. And the cycle repeats. I see a direct relationship between the lack of students in STEM and the disappearing middle class. This cycle is dividing US citizens into rich and poor.

  3. I am interested in joining this project, but I could not find other means to contact you. I saw your job post in UC Berkeley’s Eta Kappa Nu (EECS honor society). Can you email me back please?

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