education

COMMON CORE MATH: TWO APPROACHES: REAL MATH IS ABOUT PROPER PARTNERING ...

November 20, 2015 By Joseph P. Farrell

Ok, Common Core is a disaster; we get it. What else could it be with the federal goobernment, profit hungry "testing" corporations, and busybody billionaires behind it, right? Well, I've been hearing horror stories about common core math, so I had a bit of free time this past week when I was laying in bed miserable with tonsilitis, and I actually found two helpful videos which I'd like to share. The first one actually makes sense - at least to me - and, as the presenter, Dr. Raj Shah, indicates, learning certain things the way he presents them also lays a deeper foundation for algebra and (if you're really following him, calculus). So I had no real difficulty following it, and no real difficulty with why certain things are being done:

Ok, I get it Dr. Shah, and, from my point of view, it makes sense. I've even seen math problems where students are supposed to draw arrays for simple multiplication problems, which are counted wrong if the student draws the array in the wrong way. Ok, I get that too, for I suppose that it's a helpful idea to lay the foundations for matrices and linear algebra early on. The trouble is, the bewildered parents looking at the right answer to a problem with the wrong array may not understand why the fundamentals of linear algebra are being taught in elementary school, and how obscuring the principles of commutivity so early on are beneficial, and of course, they have every bit as rational a point as the array addicts of Common Core. When I saw these array problems, I began to scratch my head and wonder also. And even with Dr. Shah, I wonder how the approach of visualizing a problem like 23 x 451,002 using the bright shiny new method helps either. Now we could do it Dr. Shah's way, and invoke all sorts of new and eminently rational steps complete with subdivided rectangles and the implied differentials(but let's not use that word yet because we'll scare everyone away), or do it the old fashioned way, with fewer steps. So in my tonsilitis-medicine-induced stupor, I chalked it all up in the "maybe" column, with a lilttle mental footnote that the "tons of research" Dr. Shah opined existed, suggesting the success of the "new methods", might be taken with a grain of salt. After all, tons of research suggested various trendy things - like getting rid of the classics, history, geography, Latin, and Greek - was a good idea to the likes of Dewey, Thorndike, and the progressivist edubabblers of a century or so ago. And what stellar results that has produced.

But, before you start hurtling rotten fruits and vegetables at me, there's this wonderful bit of splendid nonsense that I also found, which puts poor Dr. Shah's purely rational mathematical approach to shame, and this is, I suspect, the real common core math, and its such eminently sensible, and sexy, rationality:

You're kidding, right? Nine is "partnered" with one because we're in a base ten system? (See? doesn't that make so much more sense?) "Oh what fun!" my loopy drug-influenced brain was thinking. "Why, this means that numbers are all partnered with each other! It's like an orgy! Hey, I'm very comfortable with that! I'm achored now, baby!"  But then, dreadful thoughts! How to explain the inherent homoeroticism of partial differentials? the unnatural polygamy of factorals? the pro-female bias of having to solve for x so many more times than for y? Why, even the Lorentz transforms were apparently non-gender neutral with the x transform displaying, once again, a gender bias for x (female) and not y (male), or better, z, which is neither and therefore, much better! Shame on Lorentz (and Einstein too for propagating it)! And because we're all in polite company here, I won't even begin to describe the thoughts I was having, contemplating what was partnered with Euler's theorem or the Hopf torus, nor the manifold positions in which they were anchored, or even if any of them were comfortable, even though they all looked entertaining, but it did inspire several new and very exotic ideas for sex toys, which I'm hoping to patent. And you can imagine what this approach means for basins of attraction and topological probes! Why, it's a positive orgasm of mapping functions. And...oh!...."The Sexual Fantasia of Riemann's Zeta Function"... well, that was just a "WOW!" I had to have a cigarette after THAT one.

So thank you Common Core! I'm truly impressed! This is truly a work of simple genius and inspiration! What has been missing from mathematics all along is proper partnering and sex and the feeling of being anchored and comfortable.

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See you on the orthorotation...