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The purpose (or lack thereof) of Algebra

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Archeuland and Baughistan
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The purpose (or lack thereof) of Algebra

Postby Archeuland and Baughistan » Mon Nov 17, 2014 7:32 pm

Let's discuss Algebra and other complicated branches of mathematics. No need for a lengthy OP.

Should Algebra be taught in schools? Trigonometry? Calculus? Should those classes be optional only for those with an interest in such complex subjects? Should there be alternatives - i.e., like they have at my school - such as Computer Programming classes counting as mathematical credits?

My thoughts: Algebra is mostly pointless. I can't think of any 'useful' part of Algebra that can't be solved much quicker and easier by use of simple arithmetic. Why not let the kids decide concerning what they take in high school. If they ever have to have Algebra for a job or something, they can have it in college. But I hypothesize that most - 99% - will never use Algebra. My business teacher at school says this as well.
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Postby Benuty » Mon Nov 17, 2014 7:34 pm

Considering computer programming partly if not mostly relies on mathematics...not sure how that would count as alternative.
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Postby Archeuland and Baughistan » Mon Nov 17, 2014 7:39 pm

Benuty wrote:Considering computer programming partly if not mostly relies on mathematics...not sure how that would count as alternative.


An alternative to enforced classes like Algebra. A worthy alternative, I'd wager. Why not go all-out and completely make mathematics an elective on a high school level? Most anything you use in mathematics is learned up to the eighth grade. It was for me, at least.
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Postby Atomic Utopia » Mon Nov 17, 2014 7:39 pm

You will learn the importance of math when you exit high school, algebra is the foundations for all engineering and science. Without a knowledge of algebra you cannot program, determine critical buckling, or design a bridge. To put it simply a knowledge of algabra is required to be an engineer of any variety. And if you do not want to learn it, I would recommend you get comfortable with working in the mostly low paying services industry.
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Benuty
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Postby Benuty » Mon Nov 17, 2014 7:41 pm

Archeuland and Baughistan wrote:
Benuty wrote:Considering computer programming partly if not mostly relies on mathematics...not sure how that would count as alternative.


An alternative to enforced classes like Algebra. A worthy alternative, I'd wager. Why not go all-out and completely make mathematics an elective on a high school level? Most anything you use in mathematics is learned up to the eighth grade. It was for me, at least.

Due to the inequality of learning within public schools US colleges, and Universities are having to put more into remedial classing just to catch graduates from high school or otherwise up. I suggest keep math going as long as possible yet adhere to an attainable individualized standard. Not this "one size fits all" standard nonsense.
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Postby Ratateague » Mon Nov 17, 2014 7:41 pm

Archeuland and Baughistan wrote:My thoughts: Algebra is mostly pointless. I can't think of any 'useful' part of Algebra that can't be solved much quicker and easier by use of simple arithmetic. Why not let the kids decide concerning what they take in high school. If they ever have to have Algebra for a job or something, they can have it in college. But I hypothesize that most - 99% - will never use Algebra. My business teacher at school says this as well.

How did you come to reach that ridiculously inflated estimate? :blink:

I use algebra all the time. My profession may not require it specifically, but many other aspects of my life regularly require it. Algebra should absolutely be mandatory, as it's a handy way to shortcut otherwise lengthy mathematical equations.
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Postby The Black Forrest » Mon Nov 17, 2014 7:42 pm

Balance a see-saw without algebra. Let's see you measure the force of magnets with simple Arithmetic. How do you measure gravity? Let's see you explain the theory of relativity without algebra. Remember the shuttles? Explain how we can get them up there; do their work and return. What about GPS systems? etc., etc., etc.......
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Postby Archeuland and Baughistan » Mon Nov 17, 2014 7:42 pm

Atomic Utopia wrote:You will learn the importance of math when you exit high school, algebra is the foundations for all engineering and science. Without a knowledge of algebra you cannot program, determine critical buckling, or design a bridge. To put it simply a knowledge of algabra is required to be an engineer of any variety. And if you do not want to learn it, I would recommend you get comfortable with working in the mostly low paying services industry.


Most folks aren't engineers, and the engineering field is not a big deal these days.
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Postby Wintergord » Mon Nov 17, 2014 7:42 pm

There are several important aspects that are useful in daily life but of course some that can be discarded:

-Long division.

-Calculus.

-Polynomials.

I learn physics and trigonometry at my current grade, at first I was against it but I have developed a tolerance for both subjects.

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Postby Benuty » Mon Nov 17, 2014 7:43 pm

Archeuland and Baughistan wrote:
Atomic Utopia wrote:You will learn the importance of math when you exit high school, algebra is the foundations for all engineering and science. Without a knowledge of algebra you cannot program, determine critical buckling, or design a bridge. To put it simply a knowledge of algabra is required to be an engineer of any variety. And if you do not want to learn it, I would recommend you get comfortable with working in the mostly low paying services industry.


Most folks aren't engineers, and the engineering field is not a big deal these days.

Thinking inside the box is typically a bad idea.
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Postby Neutraligon » Mon Nov 17, 2014 7:43 pm

Archeuland and Baughistan wrote:
Atomic Utopia wrote:You will learn the importance of math when you exit high school, algebra is the foundations for all engineering and science. Without a knowledge of algebra you cannot program, determine critical buckling, or design a bridge. To put it simply a knowledge of algabra is required to be an engineer of any variety. And if you do not want to learn it, I would recommend you get comfortable with working in the mostly low paying services industry.


Most folks aren't engineers, and the engineering field is not a big deal these days.


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Furry Alairia and Algeria
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Postby Furry Alairia and Algeria » Mon Nov 17, 2014 7:43 pm

Archeuland and Baughistan wrote:
Atomic Utopia wrote:You will learn the importance of math when you exit high school, algebra is the foundations for all engineering and science. Without a knowledge of algebra you cannot program, determine critical buckling, or design a bridge. To put it simply a knowledge of algabra is required to be an engineer of any variety. And if you do not want to learn it, I would recommend you get comfortable with working in the mostly low paying services industry.


Most folks aren't engineers, and the engineering field is not a big deal these days.

You'd be wrong there.
Chemical and Genetic engineering is being used to create artificial life. I fail to see how that's not big.
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Archeuland and Baughistan
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Postby Archeuland and Baughistan » Mon Nov 17, 2014 7:44 pm

The Black Forrest wrote:Balance a see-saw without algebra. Let's see you measure the force of magnets with simple Arithmetic. How do you measure gravity? Let's see you explain the theory of relativity without algebra. Remember the shuttles? Explain how we can get them up there; do their work and return. What about GPS systems? etc., etc., etc.......


Great. How can that be used for a person's benefit? How can that have a practical purpose? If they are curious, they can learn it themselves or take the elective. But most do not have an interest in Algebra, and should not be expected to.

I would argue that Algebra is holding us back from being the number 1 mathematically literate country in the world. People wonder why test scores have been dropping for the past fifty years. We've made Algebra and other useless branches of mathematics more important than practical mathematics.
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Postby Deian salazar » Mon Nov 17, 2014 7:44 pm

Atomic Utopia wrote:You will learn the importance of math when you exit high school, algebra is the foundations for all engineering and science. Without a knowledge of algebra you cannot program, determine critical buckling, or design a bridge. To put it simply a knowledge of algabra is required to be an engineer of any variety. And if you do not want to learn it, I would recommend you get comfortable with working in the mostly low paying services industry.

^This.
While Algebra is a pain,it also is EXTREMELY fundamental in military strategy and tactics.
I find it painful and complex,but strategems such as the Pincer Attack and Left hook cannot be executed without a decent knowledge of Algebra.
I know this,and I am making a tactics club at my school tomorrow or sometime this week,and I bet my students/pupils and/or my fellow strategists will be shocked of the importance of Algebra in military strategy.

Just to prove my point(somewhat),does a Chess board not look like a graph?

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Postby Furry Alairia and Algeria » Mon Nov 17, 2014 7:44 pm

Archeuland and Baughistan wrote:
The Black Forrest wrote:Balance a see-saw without algebra. Let's see you measure the force of magnets with simple Arithmetic. How do you measure gravity? Let's see you explain the theory of relativity without algebra. Remember the shuttles? Explain how we can get them up there; do their work and return. What about GPS systems? etc., etc., etc.......


Great. How can that be used for a person's benefit? How can that have a practical purpose? If they are curious, they can learn it themselves or take the elective. But most do not have an interest in Algebra, and should not be expected to.

I would argue that Algebra is holding us back from being the number 1 mathematically literate country in the world. People wonder why test scores have been dropping for the past fifty years. We've made Algebra and other useless branches of mathematics more important than practical mathematics.

Yes, we are so falling behind Mali :roll:
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Postby Neutraligon » Mon Nov 17, 2014 7:45 pm

Archeuland and Baughistan wrote:
Benuty wrote:Considering computer programming partly if not mostly relies on mathematics...not sure how that would count as alternative.


An alternative to enforced classes like Algebra. A worthy alternative, I'd wager. Why not go all-out and completely make mathematics an elective on a high school level? Most anything you use in mathematics is learned up to the eighth grade. It was for me, at least.


Then you are missing a lot when it comes to math. Oh also, most of what happens below 8th grade is not math, it is arithmetic.
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Postby The Black Forrest » Mon Nov 17, 2014 7:45 pm

Archeuland and Baughistan wrote:
Atomic Utopia wrote:You will learn the importance of math when you exit high school, algebra is the foundations for all engineering and science. Without a knowledge of algebra you cannot program, determine critical buckling, or design a bridge. To put it simply a knowledge of algabra is required to be an engineer of any variety. And if you do not want to learn it, I would recommend you get comfortable with working in the mostly low paying services industry.


Most folks aren't engineers, and the engineering field is not a big deal these days.


:blink: Many of those things you take for granted came from whom?

Many engineers didn't decide to be engineers from the beginning. Some took math and found they had an aptitude for it. Algebra was a stepping stone to bigger areas......
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Archeuland and Baughistan
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Postby Archeuland and Baughistan » Mon Nov 17, 2014 7:45 pm

Wintergord wrote:There are several important aspects that are useful in daily life but of course some that can be discarded:

-Long division.

-Calculus.

-Polynomials.

I learn physics and trigonometry at my current grade, at first I was against it but I have developed a tolerance for both subjects.


Long division can be discarded? What? Long division is basic mathematics. Calculus and polynomials are among the more obscure and useless portions, and they can certainly be disregarded, but long division. Again. What?
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Postby The Sotoan Union » Mon Nov 17, 2014 7:46 pm

Algebra is the foundation of a lot of higher math. Trying to do higher math without algebra is like trying to do more basic arithmetic without counting.

Furthermore it's a useful thing to teach. Teaching kids math makes them better at it, and makes it easier for them to understand it even if they don't go into a job that requires higher math.
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Postby Ratateague » Mon Nov 17, 2014 7:46 pm

Archeuland and Baughistan wrote:But most do not have an interest in Algebra, and should not be expected to.

I would argue that Algebra is holding us back from being the number 1 mathematically literate country in the world. People wonder why test scores have been dropping for the past fifty years. We've made Algebra and other useless branches of mathematics more important than practical mathematics.

Who are these "most?" Do you have polls?

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Postby Neutraligon » Mon Nov 17, 2014 7:46 pm

The Black Forrest wrote:
Archeuland and Baughistan wrote:
Most folks aren't engineers, and the engineering field is not a big deal these days.


:blink: Many of those things you take for granted came from whom?

Many engineers didn't decide to be engineers from the beginning. Some took math and found they had an aptitude for it. Algebra was a stepping stone to bigger areas......


Indeed, when I went to college at first I had no idea what I wanted to become. It would have been impossible to become an engineer without classes in algebra, calc, and geometry, all of which feature heavily in my path as an engineer (hello robots).
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Archeuland and Baughistan
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Postby Archeuland and Baughistan » Mon Nov 17, 2014 7:46 pm

Neutraligon wrote:
Archeuland and Baughistan wrote:
An alternative to enforced classes like Algebra. A worthy alternative, I'd wager. Why not go all-out and completely make mathematics an elective on a high school level? Most anything you use in mathematics is learned up to the eighth grade. It was for me, at least.


Then you are missing a lot when it comes to math. Oh also, most of what happens below 8th grade is not math, it is arithmetic.


Arithmetic is a branch of mathematics. The useful and practical branch that every third grader hates but eventually realizes is absolutely essential.
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Postby Burleson » Mon Nov 17, 2014 7:46 pm

Those classes should be electives. The vast majority of students probably won't get jobs in which algebra, calculus, etc. would be involved. Requiring all students to take those useless classes is just a waste of tax money.
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Archeuland and Baughistan
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Postby Archeuland and Baughistan » Mon Nov 17, 2014 7:47 pm

Neutraligon wrote:
The Black Forrest wrote:
:blink: Many of those things you take for granted came from whom?

Many engineers didn't decide to be engineers from the beginning. Some took math and found they had an aptitude for it. Algebra was a stepping stone to bigger areas......


Indeed, when I went to college at first I had no idea what I wanted to become. It would have been impossible to become an engineer without classes in algebra, calc, and geometry, all of which feature heavily in my path as an engineer (hello robots).


That's great! But should everyone be expected to take those classes? Keep specialization in mind.
Standing on the truth of God's word and the gospel.
Learn more about the true history of the world here.
You must be born again? What does that mean?
Islam, the religion of peace? What does history tell us?
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Agenda 21 map - it affects us all!
Let's rebuild Noah's Ark to serve as a reminder about the true history of Earth!
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Furry Alairia and Algeria
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Postby Furry Alairia and Algeria » Mon Nov 17, 2014 7:47 pm

Burleson wrote:Those classes should be electives. The vast majority of students probably won't get jobs in which algebra, calculus, etc. would be involved. Requiring all students to take those useless classes is just a waste of tax money.

Yes, because we are going to be just fine without the future.
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