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Ben Mavy
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Ben and I pretty much share a brain, but I should probably note that this is his wife, Megan, speaking. He's busy using his stem skills to keep bacon on our table.
I think the focus on culture here is key. Kids are willing to "drill and kill" when they have intrinsic motivation. That motivation is unlikely to come from a single teacher supervising 30+ kids for 30+ hours a week. My bet is that the Japanese parents are the ones really driving achievement, not the juku or the public schools. I also think a huge failing in the systems most American schools use is that they focus entirely on following series of steps instead of teaching mathematical concepts and then giving kids puzzles they need to figure out on their own. Common Core gives lip service to the concepts approach, but as you'd expect from a bureaucratic behemoth that thinks the ability to answer multiple choice questions is the apogee of all human knowledge, they mangle it beyond all recognition. Here's a great article about the inherent problems in attempting to mass-produce educated children -
George, I love your post and your approach. Perhaps in general medicine there is a bigger market for it, but my experience with pediatricians and obstetricians is that you can count on downright kitten-birthing if you dare to bring up the cost (emotional, physical or economic) of any test or procedure. Physicians use their status and mysterious voodoo knowledge to brow-beat parents into accepting whatever is "standard of care," which I strongly suspect is more about what pharmaceutical companies are selling than anything resembling math. I don't see how that happened unless patients have been willing participants. A black market has already sprung up for child birth, but most of those practitioners are just selling a different variety of voodoo from their medical counterparts. How are you going to sell math to people who are looking for magic?
Toggle Commented Apr 24, 2012 on Making Medical Decisions at Rebane's Ruminations
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Apr 23, 2012