Algebra - Thumbs Up, Or Thumbs Down?

Discussion in 'Education & Learning' started by Neville Telen, Aug 5, 2018.

  1. Ken Anderson

    Ken Anderson Greeter
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    I got Bs in both years of algebra in high school, but I cheated some and, during tests, I had to quickly scan the test in order to answer some questions before I forgot how to do the formulas. I didn't feel confident in algebra until a math teacher at one of the colleges I was teaching at showed me how easy it was. In a couple of hours, she taught me more than two years of algebra in high school. I signed up for trigonometry but dropped out after a few days. They may as well have been teaching it in Latin for all the sense I was able to make of it.
     
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  2. Don Alaska

    Don Alaska Very Well-Known Member
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    As I said above, algebra and trig I find useful in every day life, but I have never had any application for calculus.
     
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  3. Thomas Stearn

    Thomas Stearn Well-Known Member
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    It's amazing how some of you are able to remember maths classes in detail including formulas and what they did in a particular situation. With me it's all kind of foggy and there's no clear memory.
     
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  4. Don Alaska

    Don Alaska Very Well-Known Member
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    I guess that means you never used the stuff you were obligated to study.
     
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  5. Hal Pollner

    Hal Pollner Very Well-Known Member
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    More than mathematically solving a problem, Algebra steers you to address the problem in logical terms of what is given and what must be solved, using that magical term "X" that does all the work!

    This applies not only to mathematical problems, but to other problems, such as prioritizing tasks, which require a logical approach with a well thought-out plan, instead of jumping into them with no plan in mind.

    Hal
     
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  6. William DeFox

    William DeFox New Member
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    I was required to take a year of geometry and two years of algebra; the geometry at times proved useful, whereas the algebra rarely did, and was vexing and unnatural to me. I was also required to take "Shop" classes where I was taught to use hand tools to make ugly lamps and bookcases; better I should have been allowed to take "Home Economics" where females learned cooking, clothing repair, and far more useful skills...
     
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  7. Yvonne Smith

    Yvonne Smith Greeter
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    Welcome to the Seniors Only Forum, @William DeFox , and we are so glad to have a new member. I love your cute little Fox avatar, too, as well as your signature saying.

    As far as algebra, geometry, or any kind of math....... I hated it all !
    Since I was a top student, they put me in the accelerated classes, which meant that I had to have geometry and algebra, instead of just the basic advanced math class that most students were assigned to.
    My geometry teacher was really old, and really boring, and really grouchy; so none of that helped in that class. With algebra, it started out the same way, but that teacher got sick and retired part way through the year, and the replacement was young, attractive, and could make math enjoyable. Needless to say, I went from D’s to A’s in algebra, and did like it better than geometry.
    Math was also a downfall in chemistry class, which I really loved, but could never master the forumlas that we had to learn, so I barely passed chemistry.
    As far as Home-Ec, I hated that, too, sewed my apron inside out, ruined whatever I was supposed to cook, and truthfully wished that I could have been out in the shop with the boys, learning awesome things like woodworking.
     
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  8. Ken Anderson

    Ken Anderson Greeter
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    During two years of algebra, I didn't really know what I was doing because the point of it all wasn't made clear to me. Arriving at the correct answer through an algebraic formula seemed like magic to me, and I'd often have to work it out the long way in order to be convinced that it was right. Because it didn't make sense to me, I couldn't remember any of it. Whenever we had a test, I first had to write down as many of the formulas as I could remember before I forgot them. I got B's, but I cheated a little.

    Geometry felt like I had managed to successfully complete a year of Latin without having learned any Latin. I didn't even understand it well enough to cheat. I was signed up for trigonometry but bailed out of that class after three days.

    As I mentioned in an earlier post, I later found a use for algebra and found it to be a sensible approach to a problem.
     
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  9. Neville Telen

    Neville Telen Well-Known Member
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    I envy your knowledge of Latin. Not an option when I was in high school. Picked up some of it as a seed broker, as knowledge of nomenclature was required, but not enough to be useful outside of Botany.
     
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