Saturday, April 26, 2008

Standards in Education

Cranmer has been sent this 'incontrovertible evidence of the concerning decline in standards in education':

1. Teaching Maths In 1970:

A logger sells a truckload of lumber for £100. His cost of production is 4/5 of the price. What is his profit?

2. Teaching Maths In 1980:

A logger sells a truckload of lumber for £100. His cost of production is 4/5 of the price, or £80. What is his profit?

3. Teaching Maths In 1990:

A logger sells a truckload of lumber for £100. His cost of production is £80. Did he make a profit?

4. Teaching Maths In 2000:

A logger sells a truckload of lumber for £100. His cost of production is £80 and his profit is £20. Your assignment: Underline the number 20.

5. Teaching Maths In 2008:

A logger cuts down a beautiful forest because he is selfish and inconsiderate and cares nothing for the habitat of animals or the preservation of our woodlands. He does this so he can make a profit of £20. What do you think of this way of making a living? Topic for class participation after answering the question: How did the birds and squirrels feel as the logger cut down their homes? (There are no wrong answers. )

6. Teaching Maths 2018:

أ المسجل تبيع حموله شاحنة من الخشب من اجل 100 دولار. صاحب تكلفة الانتاج من الثمن. ما هو الربح ل


Anonymous hear o israel said...

your grace
what i love so much about the english langauage , is on closer inspection how words and numbers operate .

your grace has decsribed has numerical profit but also contemplates a loss that only words can illuminate .

there is of course the story of the talents of silver , where we are left wondering in a modern light if the investments made were ethical or moral .

in the bible profit has more to do with full filling a promise , that promise being the peace.

when it is realised that numbers do not full fill the promise, one has to wonder what on earth we have all been rushing around for the last ten years .

unless that is of course numbers are both a distraction and a deception in how secure we are to feel.

i wonder if power of numbers can be put back in a more balanced position in the human mind .

but it does appear that numbers instantly sets up the "feeling of more or less" .it would be a very wicked person that would choose to starve someone numerically as though in some cruel experiment even more wicked though to use words to blind the need for accountancy !!

you have set me off on a very interesting train of thought your grace , thank you

i see the arcbishop of canterbury made an insightfull speech on poverty in the lords today , you can view it on commons website

26 April 2008 at 01:44  
Anonymous billy said...

Your latest two threads worry me, Your Grace.
Are you unwell? Has someone else taken over? They are not your usual high standard of reporting at all.

26 April 2008 at 08:42  
Blogger Stop Common Purpose said...

I'm surprised they don't have GCSE Maths questions which just involve colouring in numbers.

26 April 2008 at 10:06  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

We can only hope that, in respect of number 6 on that list, you find yourself to have been a false prophet

26 April 2008 at 12:13  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Stop Common Purpose said...
I'm surprised they don't have GCSE Maths questions which just involve colouring in numbers.

But they do. It's called 'multiple choice'.

26 April 2008 at 12:56  
Anonymous Homophobic Horse said...

It would be a good post if it was real.

26 April 2008 at 14:27  
Anonymous steadmancinques said...

Statistics GCE 'A' level question;
A large organisation has an annual budget of 120,346,758,612 euros. The organisation's accounting is subject to external scrutiny by a body called the 'Court of Auditors'. The court has never approved the accounts of the organisation. Using any procedure of inferential statistical modelling with which you are familiar, forecast the most probable levels of the following
(a) outright theft
(b) false inflation of expenses for personal gain
(c) total inefficiency and wastefulness
(d) actual benefit

26 April 2008 at 14:37  
Blogger Ttony said...

(e) All of the above

26 April 2008 at 20:32  
Blogger Cranmer said...

Mr Billy,

His Grace is in need of a little light relief, and since it his august blog he shall do as he wishes.

26 April 2008 at 21:20  
Anonymous billy said...

Quite right too, Your Grace.
I was only worrying that the marbles were going and you were revisiting April 1st.

26 April 2008 at 21:53  
Blogger Snuffleupagus said...

Yes very funny Your Grace. I have seen it a few times and it makes us teachers laugh.

In setting up for this multiple choice numeracy equivalent GCSE the other day, I did a demo test on the computer. I did not read the questions and clicked on any answer quickly to move to the end of the test. I got 32%. The pass mark is 50%.

26 April 2008 at 23:44  
Blogger mongoose said...

Snuffy, multiple choice questions were coming in when I was at school. If it was pick one from five, they would mark your paper and then subtract 20% to take account of possible guessing.

27 April 2008 at 13:28  
Blogger Peter Mc said...

Your Grace, that was was worth the coffee-scorched nostrils and the new keyboard which I must now buy.

27 April 2008 at 13:34  
Blogger Snuffleupagus said...

Interesting. That's exactly what happens. They introduce a system that seems easier, but then make it so that it isn't easier. Then later on they get rid of the element that stopped it from being easier.

So once upon a time language exam questions were all in English. Then they made the exercises easier but wrote the question in the target language, thereby making it just as hard (arguably). From next year we will return to having the question in English, but the standard of the exercise remains the same, if it isn't in fact easier.

27 April 2008 at 21:30  
Anonymous Dedikind said...

Your Grace, you can no more teach mathematics to the masses than you can teach an ass to recite Shakespeare. You speak of arithmetic, the prosaic cousin of mathematics. A true mathematician cares not a jot for loggers and their profits for it profit a logger not to understand mathematics. But he cares as to why
Its the simplest and most difficult mathematical problems which count.

27 April 2008 at 21:35  
Anonymous Voyager said...

Why not set a real question ? If you spend £1,000,000,000 each week on Education for 93% students, would you expect them to get a superior education to the 7% educated privately....and would you expect this to improve or deteriorate over time ?

28 April 2008 at 07:39  
Blogger George Street said...

Funny, yet sadly true. I posted 'Why Schools are Crap' on my own blog only last week.

28 April 2008 at 09:23  

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