Uncommon Maths

I still hate winter. Although last night was a bit less stressing. Perhaps acclimatization? Or trusting that the weather beavers were accurate in foretelling an abating? Anyway already some indication of that. So perhaps I can retrieve my mind.

On which azimuth I noted an article [Link] on Common Core maths. Something called the box method. It utilizes something called the “box” method that I have to admit to shaking my head at for quite a while. Then I realized that the “box” method was what I was already doing, but only by comparing it to their presentation of the classical method that I learned in elementary schule.

I have to admit that I use that classical method for many years until I got to college, became somewhat calculate – maths literate – and adopted a system called chunking that seems to be a more robust version of what these folks call the “box” method. I also have to admit that almost no one that I know uses chunking and those who do not cannot understand how it works and tell me when I try to explain it that it gives them headache.

I actuality first espied chunking when I had to use an abacus in a maths lab once. It’s fairly easy in that context. Also if one is used to doing Taylor expansions. Which is how I do roots of numbers. Also, roots of polynomials but that is even more esoteric.

Anyway, based on this, I can immediately see two problems with this approach to arithmetic. First, renaming the method distances the publoc educationalist apparat from the maths community. I suspect this was on purpose so that the educationalists wouldn’t have to answer for their evils. And secondly, I doubt that the method can be taught to the majority of primary schule educationalists much less that they can teach it to their charges. So a double – multiplied – probability of failure!

On the positive side, it seems that humans have a natural grasp of probability. [Link] But evidently it is only primitive peoples. Not those educated in Amerika. From my experience. 

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