The Story Of 1
Monty Python (well, just Terry Jones) takes on innumeracy with a history of numbers. Back in high school, I lived on Edutainment TV like this, books, and USA Up All Night. Regardless, I didn't get into math back then. And I don't think I would have, had I seen this film.
Which leaves the question of innumeracy and curing it. I only became interested in math when I got to college and saw that others could solve problems that I couldn't. How do we kindle an interest in math at an earlier age?
Of course that's the Billion dollar question nowadays. I guess the answer has something to do with praising a child's efforts at math, and being good at math yourself. Granted, it certainly seems like preaching to the choir here. ;)
I became interested in math when I got to calculus. I think my prof (took it when I was in high school, but at a local college) was pretty good and the idea of the thing just fascinated me. I found it intuitive, but not obvious. In other words, it made sense to me, but I didn't feel like I would have invented the thing myself if it didn't exist (that's how I felt about algebra regardless of the truth of the feeling). Since that first calculus course I've suffered mixed feelings about math. I find much of it fascinating and I know it's incredibly useful, but I'm always getting distracted with details. ---- As far as teaching kids about math. I haven't thought about that specifically a whole lot, but I have thought about how to teach kids in general. My conclusion so far is that you have to first get children interested in problems which they can't currently solve, and then help them explore how to solve them. Also, I think it's pretty near impossible to teach kids anything unless your or the kid is fairly interested in what is being taught. If a kid has a natural interest in something it doesn't matter that much how you teach the kid will figure stuff how. However, if the kid doesn't have much interest it matters a great deal. That's where I think really passionate teachers make a difference. I remember in college I wasn't exactly a kid of course, but I used to regularly hang out in one of my roommates graphics design classes because he had a great teacher. It was just fun to be in that class because the teacher was so into the subject. That kind of enthusiasm is contagious. ---- Well, I think that's it. I've rambled enough for now ;) -- Dave W
I'll prolly just provide as much understanding of the world as the kid wants. We can spend a lifetime learning.
I ended up getting my passion from math and science from my grandfather. I think the key was that he was always working on some interesting project and looked like he was having fun. He never had all the answers (even when he did). Having "grownup" things to explore as a kid meant a lot. -- Dave K
Yeah, I remember when I disassembled a toaster and my parents indicated that I shouldn't do that again (jeez, it wasn't even plugged in ;). Seems like the stuff I always wanted to work on was the stuff I couldn't touch.