I friend of mine from Canada sent me this message about teaching maths in schools.
(I have ammended it slightly to be correct in British grammar!)
The New, New Maths
I purchased a burger at Burger King for £1.58. The counter girl took my £2 and I was digging for my change when I pulled 8 pence from my pocket and gave it to her. She stood there, holding the 8 pence, while looking at the screen on her register. I sensed her discomfort and tried to tell her to just give me 50 pence change, but she hailed the manager for help. While he tried to explain the transaction to her, she stood there and cried... Why do I tell you this? Because of the evolution in teaching math since the 1960s:
1. Teaching Maths In 1960s (when I was in school)
A logger sells a truckload of lumber for £100. His cost of production is 4/5 of the price. What is his profit ?
2. Teaching Maths In 1970s
A logger sells a truckload of lumber for £100. His cost of production is 4/5 of the price, or £80. What is his profit?
3. Teaching Maths In 1980s
A logger sells a truckload of lumber for £100. His cost of production is £80. Did he make a profit ? Yes or No
4. Teaching Maths In 1990s
A logger sells a truckload of lumber for £100. His cost of production is £80 and his profit is £20. Your assignment: Underline the number 20.
5. Teaching Maths In 2000s
A logger cuts down a beautiful forest because he is selfish and inconsiderate and cares nothing for the habitat of animals or the preservation of our woodlands. He does this so he can make a profit of £20. What do you think of this way of making a living? Topic for class participation after answering the question: How did the birds and squirrels feel as the logger cut down their homes? (There are no wrong answers, and if you feel like crying, it's ok).