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Maths uses intentionally cryptic and vague language in its curicculum? (Poll)

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posted on Jun, 23 2015 @ 07:36 PM
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I don't know if its just my overly high expectations or something, but I expect things to be laid out clearly to me in a language that is easy to understand when learning anything actually, but particularly challenging and mentally demanding subjects like mathmatics.

This was not the mathmatics education I received at high school.... So I didn't care anymore and got an average grade, instead of what I was capable of... I recently looked into applying for a job with the environment agency, but it turns out I need a maths A level to be able to study in one of their specialist two year courses...

I didn't study maths past GCSE, so the content is new to me, but the academic presentation of the subject, found all over, is not.

Doing some reading again today, I found even trying to read glossary definitions of mathematical terms confusing. And it was the same when I was studying GCSE... only a maths textbook is capable of giving me such a bad headache...


I was considered above average intelligence, so if its difficult for me to understand, people with so called below average intelligence would have no chance trying to comprehend whats written...
I suppose familiarization does eventually lead to understanding.... But what put me off getting a top maths grade in the first place was precisely because I didn't want to become more familiar with it, and just got tired of it and sick of how its taught.

I felt it actually lowered my intelligence ...not the subject itself, but how its presented and taught by the academic establishment in this and I am assuming other english speaking countries.

Do other people have that experience?
I would like to hear ATS thoughts on this.




posted on Jun, 23 2015 @ 07:38 PM
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originally posted by: funkadeliaaaa
I found even trying to read glossary definitions of mathematical terms confusing.


Care to give us a link and a example?



posted on Jun, 23 2015 @ 07:41 PM
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I've taken math courses up through college-level calculus, and I don't recall any cryptic or vague language in any of the courses or textbooks. Higher level mathematics simply can't all be explained in simple terms, by its' very nature.



posted on Jun, 23 2015 @ 07:41 PM
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a reply to: funkadeliaaaa

I hear ya, maffs wasn't my strong point either.

I don't really know how you would change it, in what other way could you learn the information?



posted on Jun, 23 2015 @ 07:46 PM
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originally posted by: hellobruce

originally posted by: funkadeliaaaa
I found even trying to read glossary definitions of mathematical terms confusing.


Care to give us a link and a example?


No, not really. This was written mainly with those already familiar with the subject in mind, but there's nothing to stop you yourself from looking it up.



posted on Jun, 23 2015 @ 07:47 PM
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a reply to: admirethedistance

I disagree, and I'll attempt to explain why in my next post...



posted on Jun, 23 2015 @ 07:50 PM
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Advanced mathematics is, as Admire said, by its very nature impossible to simplify.



posted on Jun, 23 2015 @ 08:08 PM
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originally posted by: funkadeliaaaa
but there's nothing to stop you yourself from looking it up.


How can I look up what you do not understand when you will not tell us?



posted on Jun, 23 2015 @ 08:11 PM
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I was born with a broken MATH thing that PHDs couldn't figure out ALL I know is I fall asleep when I try hard to get it and I can't retain it.
NO ONE knows who diagnoses the issue either.



posted on Jun, 23 2015 @ 08:13 PM
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Circumpunct. Triangle.



posted on Jun, 23 2015 @ 08:16 PM
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originally posted by: EA006
a reply to: funkadeliaaaa

in what other way could you learn the information?


Well that's a good question... There are a few things I can think of....

First most important thing to me seems to be adressing the course structure, throughout the ”key-stages" of development... And retuning it to suit the common folk rather than the estranged wizard elite (lol)

Second a less two dimensions and linear way of teaching the subject...

For example each lesson could be taught using a grounding "object" around which mathematical concepts are studied.... You could have whole modules based on the numerical data of a sphere, or a cube for example, making the subject more tangible somehow...

This was what led me to writing the thread actually... I was watching some YouTube videos and it dawned on me how much easier they could make learning this subject by having each lesson or topic focused around a tangible "object" of some shape or form (think creatively) no matter whether that object is relevant to the subject of not, simply incorporating a tangible "object" of some kind that produces numerical data that you can work with will make the subject a lot more tangible ... And easier to remember!

Maths after all is the art of metrics (measuring)... If there's too much etric and not enough actual tangible measuring being done, the subject looses its essence, and meaning! I believe maths is beautiful, but the academic establishment has created an elemental imbalance, its feng shui is out of whack! And it needs fixing!

Damn, its way past my bed time, lol!
edit on 23 6 15 by funkadeliaaaa because: (no reason given)



posted on Jun, 23 2015 @ 08:20 PM
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I would agree to some extent, but I don't think it is intentional, I think it is because those that understand higher math very well, often aren't able to communicate it in terms that are understandable.

I have a BS in mechanical engineering and one term left in MS electrical engineering. I have had a ton of math well beyond calculus. Every so often, I had a prof that had the knack for teaching, and they would explain some weird concept using the right language, and it was easy.

I've also been in classes where I already knew a concept and watched a prof explain it in the most complicated and convoluted way possible.

Again, I don't think it is intentional, it is just the nature of the subject matter and that really smart people often aren't great teachers. It requires a two way conversation with someone who knows rather than a book.

Also, some math is just a bunch of glop that only a handful of people understand.



posted on Jun, 23 2015 @ 08:21 PM
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I had a child in my 40s and by the time she was in 3rd grade, the math had changed. I swear it isnt the same math as when I was in school. I found youtube math tutorials very helpful. There is a huge variety of tutorials available, you might even try searching with the book title.



posted on Jun, 23 2015 @ 08:23 PM
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originally posted by: CharlieSpeirs
Advanced mathematics is, as Admire said, by its very nature impossible to simplify.


I did not say we should simply the subject, but that we should reform the teaching of it, to make the language less ... Obtuse ... and the concepts more tangible... It requires thinking creatively, rather than linearly...



posted on Jun, 23 2015 @ 08:29 PM
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a reply to: hellobruce

I didnt say I didn't understand, i said the language was confusing.



posted on Jun, 23 2015 @ 08:30 PM
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In my experience, there exist a lot of college professors that have big ego problems, don't want you to understand what they are teaching, and feel threatened if you learn too much too fast.

Not all are like that. Of course --

Hey -- this point is SO OBVIOUS that I am surprised it hasn't been brought up yet: Most teachers are really quite poor at their profession.



posted on Jun, 23 2015 @ 08:35 PM
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a reply to: Halfswede




I would agree to some extent, but I don't think it is intentional, I think it is because those that understand higher math very well, often aren't able to communicate it in terms that are understandable. 



Yes and that's exactly my point... If they arent able to easily explain it, i don't think they even understand ... Simply programmed automatons, repeating what they learned in order to pass an exam...?...



posted on Jun, 23 2015 @ 08:43 PM
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When I was growing up there was a thing called the "New Math". Here is a description of it from Wikipedia:

"New Mathematics or New Math was a brief, dramatic change in the way mathematics was taught in American grade schools, and to a lesser extent in European countries, during the 1960s. The name is commonly given to a set of teaching practices introduced in the U.S. shortly after the Sputnik crisis in order to boost science education and mathematical skill in the population so that the perceived intellectual threat of Soviet engineers, reputedly highly skilled mathematicians, could be met."

The "New Math" actually made it more difficult to learn math:

"Parents and teachers who opposed the New Math in the U.S. complained that the new curriculum was too far outside of students' ordinary experience and was not worth taking time away from more traditional topics, such as arithmetic. The material also put new demands on teachers, many of whom were required to teach material they did not fully understand. Parents were concerned that they did not understand what their children were learning and could not help them with their studies."

So I would agree that the way math is taught is critical to learners understanding the lessons. And since this is a conspiracy website I will add that - I have to wonder if the "New Math" was being taught in fancy schools for rich kids as well as the public schools that the rest of us went.

Sal


a reply to: funkadeliaaaa



posted on Jun, 23 2015 @ 08:44 PM
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I find using practical applications with maths very helpful as maths is really all about relationships. Using the actual name of the the force like money, mass or length also helps a lot compared to decoding ancient Greek symbols along the way like sigma and delta.



posted on Jun, 23 2015 @ 08:47 PM
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originally posted by: Axial Leader

Hey -- this point is SO OBVIOUS that I am surprised it hasn't been brought up yet: Most teachers are really quite poor at their profession.


Yes

and I'm starting to think ... not entirely... but large swathes of the education system are becoming... At the very least borderline ... Quango's ... From the highest ministers, right down the teaching assistants..

Which in turn leads to less qualified students.... And then higher unemployment ... So more quango's, subsidized by the government at the taxpayers expense.. It's a viscious circle...




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