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June 10th, 2010, 07:17 AM   #1
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A revolution in math

http://sirkenrobinson.com/skr/
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June 10th, 2010, 09:37 PM   #2
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Re: A revolution in math

I would call it a revolution in (math?) education, more than one one math. A really great talk though, and I whole-heartedly agree with what he has to say. The education system in general is very focused on preparing students for college, when quite truly, a 4 year formal university education is of little use to most people. I can't count the number of people I know who either:
*Went to college, hated it, and continued on in the area they studied, despite disliking the field.
*Went to college in some field and are now doing something which has nothing to do with anything they learned in their 4 years of study.

The first group of people are, by and large, pushed (either directly or indirectly) to be "successful", but have never really found their own definition of "success", and have never considered that another course of action could make them more successful. I do, howver, think that a large number of people in the first group will continue to be that way, even if there were such a revolution in education. Complacency is a very human thing, which even I struggle with constantly, despite my passions and the fact that I do know what I want to spend my time doing.

The second group is quite frankly a large waste of resources. These people could be going on to do whatever it is they end up doing 4 years earlier, and have 4 more years of experience. To be fair, they often don't know what it is they want to be doing, but only the gen-ed requirements are actually helping them learn what it is they want to do. The specialized classes in their fields of study are of little use, unless they actually want to have something to do with that.

I also think the university system is very, very wrong for most disciplines. Engineering, one of the more university-dependent, would be much more exciting and relevant if they spent maybe two years learning the fundamentals and background (in mathematics and physics), and then 2 or 3 years as an apprentice, during which time they would also likely be taking a few (but not nearly a full course-load) classes to learn the more specialized theory. Most engineers I know said that most of what they learned in school was useless, and that they were re-trained in most of the useful things anyway.

One of his other TED talks here is also great, and on similar subjects.
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June 11th, 2010, 07:47 AM   #3
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Re: A revolution in math

Quote:
Originally Posted by cknapp
I would call it a revolution in (math?) education, more than one one math. A really great talk though, and I whole-heartedly agree with what he has to say. The education system in general is very focused on preparing students for college, when quite truly, a 4 year formal university education is of little use to most people. I can't count the number of people I know who either:
*Went to college, hated it, and continued on in the area they studied, despite disliking the field.
*Went to college in some field and are now doing something which has nothing to do with anything they learned in their 4 years of study.

The first group of people are, by and large, pushed (either directly or indirectly) to be "successful", but have never really found their own definition of "success", and have never considered that another course of action could make them more successful. I do, howver, think that a large number of people in the first group will continue to be that way, even if there were such a revolution in education. Complacency is a very human thing, which even I struggle with constantly, despite my passions and the fact that I do know what I want to spend my time doing.

The second group is quite frankly a large waste of resources. These people could be going on to do whatever it is they end up doing 4 years earlier, and have 4 more years of experience. To be fair, they often don't know what it is they want to be doing, but only the gen-ed requirements are actually helping them learn what it is they want to do. The specialized classes in their fields of study are of little use, unless they actually want to have something to do with that.

I also think the university system is very, very wrong for most disciplines. Engineering, one of the more university-dependent, would be much more exciting and relevant if they spent maybe two years learning the fundamentals and background (in mathematics and physics), and then 2 or 3 years as an apprentice, during which time they would also likely be taking a few (but not nearly a full course-load) classes to learn the more specialized theory. Most engineers I know said that most of what they learned in school was useless, and that they were re-trained in most of the useful things anyway.

One of his other TED talks here is also great, and on similar subjects.

Nice post. Thanks for the url.
I believe some students don't want to pursue areas of study/subjects resonate with them because of misconceptions about future prospects. They believe that pursuing those areas of study would compromise their future financial security, and lets face it, its common belief that financial security plays a major role in success. If we truly need a revolution in education, one of the first things we should address are the misconceptions surrounding subjects or areas of study regarding future prospects because the problem many students face today is having the courage to pursue subjects/areas of study that resonate with them, mentally and physically.
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