Comments about ‘Mentoring science students is a national priority’

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Published: Wednesday, April 24 2013 10:20 a.m. MDT

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RedShirt
USS Enterprise, UT

The irony of it all is the fact that the Obama administration is pushing Common Core for education which destroys a child's ability to understand math. I am speaking from experience in trying to help my child do a simple 2 digit subtraction problem using the methods that Common Core teaches. They don't use logical steps and they are more concerned about teaching advanced concepts than they are about establishing a foundation in basic mathematical principals.

How can we get more scientists and engineers if we make math incomprehensible in the public education system?

Tyler D
Meridian, ID

Great article!

@RedShirt – “the Obama administration is pushing Common Core for education which destroys a child's ability to understand math.”

You raise a good point about cookie cutter, across-the-board approaches to education. But I don’t think Common Core is the problem per se. The problem is using the right teaching methods for each student based on how they process information.

From my own experience, I often struggled in math because (I later realized) I couldn’t understand the concepts behind the problem. It was very difficult for me to just keep “doing the drills” without understanding why and what it meant. In hindsight, I would have thrived under Common Core.

But other students (most perhaps) think/process differently and are perfectly comfortable manipulating numbers and working problems, either without fully understanding why, or somehow intuiting the “why” enough so they can move forward.

If your child thinks differently than the method being taught, you might look into hiring a tutor that will teach it the way they need.

Either way, I wish you the best… raising children ain’t easy.

RedShirt
USS Enterprise, UT

To "Tyler D" the problem isn't that my kids don't understand what is being asked, it is that the methodologies are unproven, untested, and condemned by college professors.

For example, the mathematical principals that they teach do not explain the why, but jump to complex concepts before basic math is understood. They are literally trying to teach algebra to 1st graders, before those kids have any proficiency in addition and subtraction.

For reading assignments they are abandoning classics like Mark Twain and even 1984 for "Democracy in America," "FedViews," by the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco (2009) and "Executive Order 13423: Strengthening Federal Environmental, Energy, and Transportation Management," published by the General Services Administration. Tell me how that is a good substitute for classical literature and poetry.

For 1st grade writing they are to "Write opinion pieces in which they introduce the topic or name the book they are writing about, state an opinion, supply a reason for the opinion, and provide some sense of closure." How many 6 and 7 year olds can do that verbally?

Look up the standards and ask yourself, do you think that the standards push meat before milk?

worf
Mcallen, TX

* Much of science is teaching the negative effects of humans on the environment.
* Math, reading, and history are taught for testing purposes and takes away memory,and creativity. Students learn accountability to a central authority.
* The teacher in the picture is Asian. This may suggest science is stronger in other countries, and we've become dependent.

Evidence of American education:

* High poverty
* More then half of our people on the dole.
* Dependence on foreign engineers to design our car engines, and transmissions.
* Dependence on foreigners to produce our cell phones, televisions, computers, etc.

I like the way math, history, and reading was taught in the fifties. We led the world.

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