|Re: Feeling older|
Message #30 Posted by Ed Look on 13 Feb 2010, 10:34 p.m.,
in response to message #29 by Palmer O. Hanson, Jr.
Palmer- And as we can see now even in the news, this problem is now out of control. Some entire school systems have toyed with not grading or flunking kids for fear of wounding their self-esteem. Do you deserve self-esteem if you can't divide... by hand?
To use your intellect is the most human, most basically human of things. If you do not develop your mind, and mathematics is only a small part of that, then that much of your personhood is stunted.
Feeling good does not necessarily contribute to this.
I hope someday soon this can be changed. It seems, too, that necessity is not necessarily the mother of invention...
Juan- I tell students to try to NOT just consider devices, especially convenient ones, as merely black boxes that do their magic and one doesn't have to understand, but that to be truly educated, whatever their major, they should at least have some somewhat more than rudimentary understanding of how things might work.
Consider computers on science fiction shows, or analytical instrumentation on a police show. Generally, someone punches in some data, or nowadays, scans it in, and then way before the next commercial break, the machine spits out the very useful and cool results. Most people seem to treat their things that way. What do most users know about their cell phones, televisions, computers, or what do most students know about their calculators? And if one day it stops connecting you to your friend in another city, stops bringing you your favorite show, stops getting you to your online game, or spitting out the answer to the test question, what do you do? Granted most of today's devices cannot truly be repaired from home, this attitude denies one of even the slightest chance of being able to something for oneself.
Everyone- I suppose this is one reason why I like scientific programmable or even graphing calculators; they are small and light enough to hold in my hand, bring anywhere, and programming them reduces some of that impenetrable black box quality I might have attributed to them. I'm not really any kind of true programmer, but maybe this is why I like programming (I hate debugging, but that's another matter).
Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain.