Advice on How to Succeed from Neil deGrasse Tyson

 

Neil deGrasse TysonAdvice on How to Succeed from Neil deGrasse Tyson. Neil deGrasse Tyson is often approached by admirers with requests for advice on how they can be as accomplished and as successful as he is. Dr. Tyson is, in fact, a well rounded man; having experienced the adrenaline-rich challenges of a high school wrestling mat before going on to Harvard University. Continue reading

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The Educational Crisis in America

To say that there is an education crisis in America would be a gross understatement.

Many are aware that the public schools of the United States are failing us in many ways;
having ceded their authority to the internet, iphones and a plethora of after school electronic playthings.

Teachers are swamped with chore upon chore; bureaucratic regulations imposed from above;
the often unfair and unreasonable expectations of anxious parents and the awful facts of financial
failure in Great-Recession America.

In inner city schools, it is especially hard for even the most gifted and willing students to learn in
an atmosphere where the prevention of bodily harm to students and teachers is the first priority
and each school day starts with a an inspection by metal  detectors.

Schools themselves have become baby-sitters in institutional form; having strayed so far from their original mission of the academic and vocational preparation of young minds that their main purpose seems to be one of keeping  their charges out of jail, off drugs/the street and prepared for a lifetime of unskilled work done for minimum wage or decades of indebtedness as they attempt to pay off their college loans.

In many schools, drug gangs run rampant and are simply too murderous to be dealt with effectively
by school authorities.

College tuition continues to climb at an alarming rate, and many graduates are so heavily burdened with student  loan repayment that long term career strategies must take a back seat to the need to bring in quick cash in order to pay off these enormous debts.

The respect that students and their parents ought to have for those who have been charged with the instruction of their children has been sacrificed, in many cases, to the insistence on upward mobility at all costs.

For the home-owning and Lexus driving class especially, high school, middle school and even grade school are serious steppingstones to an advanced degree from a school of suitable pedigree; and heaven help the teacher who does not perform equally suitable miracles to ensure that their children are admitted by same.

Meanwhile, American students’ math and scores science test are moving steadily downward in international rankings. Tens of billions of dollars are spent on things that do not even remotely related to education. Included here are metal detectors, athletic programs; ineffective teaching tools, costly maintenance fees for decaying school buildings and physical plants that are powered by failing and increasingly expensive HVAC systems; and outlandishly expensive instructional material that are sold for top dollar to districts that are so cash-strapped that teachers must pay for office supplies out of their own pockets.

The result is an increasingly illiterate and ignorant student body that is in no way competitive – in this increasingly competitive day and age of worldwide technological progress and cutthroat competition to bring same to market before one’s neighbor does – with students from other countries.

(to be continued).

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An Interesting Tutorial on Teaching Mathematics

Math “rules” in the modern world.

This new digital world is based on mathematics…a particular branch called Boolean Algebra… and it may be something that dwarfs all other human endeavors in its usefulness as a survival tool.

The teaching and learning of math is no longer something for the select and well-educated few. As world industry and the day-to-day functioning of the average person become increasingly dependent on the work of software engineers and other professionals whose output is logic- and math based, it is time to view the learning of mathematics as something as necessary as toilet training and the rudiments of socialization for young children.

By focusing on the particular kind of reasoning that lies at the heart of mathematics – mathematical reasoning – this fascinating tutorial frames math in an interesting and logical way.

Enjoy the simple mathematical puzzles that are included in this presentation. There is also some excellent advice on math instruction and the principles of mathematics learning…

Read more at:
http://www.mathematicslearning.org/pdfs/MathReasoning09.pdf

 

 

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