Bewildering Stories

Bewildering Stories Editorial

by Jerry Wright

Friends

You know what they say... A friend in need is a pain in the neck. Or other parts of the anatomy. Well, I just spent two hours with a friend on my cell phone, helping him reinstall his computer operating system, his various drivers, his wireless network, etc. Relatively painless when personally present, not so much on the phone. Well, anyway, he's happy, and I'm beating my head against a wall.

Ah well.

We've discussed the state of education here numerous times, but I'd like to point you to this little 15 minute video on YOUTUBE dealing with Math Education. As I watched, I found it interesting that the books would teach these alternative methods of multiplication and division, and totally ignore the standard algorithm. "Napier's Bones", the second method shown, is neat, but to teach that to the exclusion of a method that just works???

It used to be that all children were expected to read by the end of the 2nd grade, and by the 3rd grade could read for pleasure. Those few who couldn't read couldn't be expected to do much of anything, period. But times have changed, and as Jane Jacobs explained in Dark Age Ahead a dark age is where not only do we not know how to do things, we've forgotten we ever KNEW how to do them.

But we want to give you self-esteem... Hmmm. Does anyone see something totally wrongheaded in the whole philosophical concept underlying that last sentence?

Copyright © 2007 by Jerry Wright for Bewildering Stories

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