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Thursday, June 25, 2009

Old book quote of the day #3

And now for a twofer, one old, one new:


49. George Washington was born in A.D. 1732, and lived 67 years. In what year did he die?


50. Alfred the Great died in A.D. 901; thence, to the signing of the Magna Carta was 314 years; thence to the American Revolution, 560 years. In what year did the American Revolution begin?


66. The area of the United States up to 1897 was 3681661 square miles. Since then there have been added the territory of Hawaii containing 6449 square miles; Porto Rico, 3531 square miles; Philippine Islands, 114410 square miles; Guam, 150 square miles; Tutuila, 77 square miles; and Wake Island, I square mile. What is the present area of the United States?


(Ray’s Modern Practical Arithmetic, 1877)


Knowledge of America and her history taught in arithmetic class. Weird, man. Sort of makes you wonder if the goal was an educated citizenry, doesn't it?


Contrast that with the Overview of Ohio’s K-12 Mathematics Content Standard:


The mathematics academic content standards prepare all students for success in the workplace and post-secondary education.  Competency in mathematics includes understanding of mathematical concepts, facility with mathematical skills, and application of concepts and skills to problem-solving situations. Students are able to communicate mathematical reasoning using mathematical and everyday language.  

Whenever possible, students should have opportunities to learn mathematics through real-world contexts, including practical applications, real data, and numbers often associated with situations and problems encountered in the workplace and daily life.  All students should be exposed to a mathematics program rich in technology, including calculators, computers, and technology applications


I’d have to say, this first highlighted bit going to well, based on my experiences with younger folks who look at me funny when my bill is $15.51 and I give them $21.01. But that’s a rant for another day. 


I’m especially interested in the second bolded part. Exposure to technology is one thing, total reliance is another. 


Thoughts? Anyone else think part of self-reliance is being able to add in your head? Anyone out there home-schooling?


UPDATE: Here's a link to an 8th grade examine that's discussed below. It's from Morehead State (KY) so hopefully legitimate.

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

Interesting post! We are a homeschooling family, and yes I believe being able to add in your head is part of self-reliance. Before formal education in this country, farming /homesteading was a part of everyday life and Math was instumental in knowing what and how much to plant, sell, etc... Cooking was and is a constant mathematical equation. Mathematics is used in every aspect of our lives, whether we realize it or not. Here is a fun website your readers can go to: www.barefootsworld.net. This is an 1895 8th grade exam students needed to take before they could graduate 8th grade. This gives new meaning to eigth grade education. Could you or your eigth grade children pass this test. Talk to the older generation, they are very intelligent, maybe not computer literate, but their education and life experiences make them walking encyclopedias. And go figure they probably did not have much homework because they had to go home and work on the farm.

Anonymous said...

Okay, I goofed. just google 1895 eigth grade exam, if you don't want to look for it on the barefoot world website. There are a couple of these exams posted. Sorry folks.

Marica said...

Anon-- First, great that you are homeschooling. Good for you!

Second, I updated the post with a link to an exam. Is this the one?

Thanks for that!

Anonymous said...

Marcia, This is the exam. Thank You! I am not computer literate either.

Marica said...

I did not do so well on the exam. 'C' I'd guess. Which is better than F, but not the 'A' to which I aspired. (I first typed "aspired to" but then realized ... ah... shouldn't end with a preposition. Geeze.)

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