Friday, November 25, 2005

Education standards...

Check this email out I received today:
Interesting post on Aus-DotNet

My kids had a maths sheet sent home for homework (primary grade 3) and one of the questions was: fill in the missing number.

4 / ? = 0

This apparently is a Dept of Education homework sheet.

After approaching the teacher, who believed that the answer was zero, and principal who referred the response that this was totally incorrect to higher powers, this was the response I got:

Dear XXXXXX,

the answer to your question is as follows:

The children need to know the associative law:

2 x 0 = 0
2 divided by 0 = 0

They need to know the relationship between multiplication and division as we learn our times tables. The aim of this problem is also to understanding how division and multiplication work.

They also need to know that zero is a place holder.

How scary is that?

I would say the majority of parents wouldn't even know that '4 / 0 = 0' is wrong. I am utterly appalled by this.

4 comments:

Stuart Anthony Fenech said...

What state was that in?

Craig said...

Not sure... somewhere in Australia.

Kirby Fur said...

As James will attest, I'm math stupid, but even a microsoft calculator says "Cannot divide by zero" when you put in this equation. And don't all small children use these now?

James said...

Well unfortunately teachers are still the lowest common denominator... If you're eligble to start studying to be one when your university entrance score is at the bottom of the list (even below the requirements for the Ponds Institute and International Hair Care Colleges) it is a bit of a worry.

The scary thing is that someone, somewhere presumably high up in the education department thinks this is right. So there's a bloke (and I'm not being sexist but how many maths nerds are female) with elbow patches and a pocket protector who thinks 4/0=0.

There's going to be a lot of confused kids when they roll into Algebra classes and realise that this is wrong.

It does make you wonder what other garbage is being compacted into little heads at school.

Oh and Kristi's not math stupid she's mildly numerically challenged in the PC-speak of today :)