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  • Fran800

    Re: American high schools drop algebra.
    I believe the way we had it in my school in 1960’s was the best solution.

    First, there was streaming at grade 9 level: academic, commercial, technical.
    The commercial was mostly for secretaries in those days — mainly girls doing typing, shorthand. All the academic subjects were taken but at an easier level. Math would concentrate on word problems, practical things like area and volume, and some statistics — but of the less theoretical type. Graphs yes, but I doubt they got into bell curves and standard deviations. English would be practical, science would aim to expand general knowledge of the world, but would avoid, for example, tough stuff like chemical equations. Nowadays this stream could substitute computer courses instead of the specifically secretarial ones.
    Technical was shop, very real stuff. The kids (mainly boys of course) took real carpentry, plumbing, mechanics. Math would be practical. For example, geometry is useful for carpentry, simple trigonometry for electronics. The approach was applied rather than theoretical, but not over-simplified.
    In the academic stream we had to take math with algebra and some pretty tough geometry. Higher math like calculus and trigonometry for grade 12. I remember that about half our class (mostly girls) HATED algebra and geometry and dropped math as soon as they could in exchange for 2 or 3 languages. I was one of about two girls in my class who liked math and took it up to grade 13 (and didn’t care much for languages). Very few girls liked math or could even do it, but the majority of boys loved it. The majority of the boys in my class went into engineering.
    My experience was that there were very different ability levels and even interest levels. The students who took commercial and technical courses were often smart, but they were like the students in this article who couldn’t be bothered sweating a subject they didn’t expect to ever use. They also lacked the ability to even understand highly theoretical subjects. People who understand math love it.
    But don’t be misled — about half the academic students were “bad at math” too, and they were mostly girls.
    Nowadays we can’t face the fact that there are different ability and interest levels . It is anathema to progressives, especially to point out a difference in sex (or should I say gender?) abilities. The result it seems is either to force students to drop out if they can’t do or absolutely hate more abstract and theoretical math, and dumb down the classes for everyone — or abandon it as a subject altogether. I notice this article keeps talking about kids as if they are fungible — but they aren’t.
    I believe there are inborn talents, and the ability to do math at a somewhat higher level (even grade 10 algebra) is hard-wired.

  • DavidinNorthBurnaby

    Turdeau’s muzzie religiosity is obvious.

  • DavidinNorthBurnaby

    “Guilty Until Proven Innocent”
    Not according to the mindless feminazis who took to the streets protesting the acquittal of the sick, perverted Arabian Princess.