Saturday, January 07, 2012

A Little Difficulty Tying Math And Social Studies Together

I can see the problem here:
Several Gwinnett parents contacted Channel 2 Action News in outrage after their children brought home a math assignment that referenced slavery and beatings.

Christopher Braxton talked with Channel 2's Kerry Kavanaugh and said he couldn't believe it when he read his 8-year-old son's math homework Wednesday.

"It kind of blew me away," Braxton said. "Do you see what I see? Do you really see what I see? He's not answering this question."

The question was a word problem that said, "Each tree had 56 oranges. If eight slaves pick them equally, then how much would each slave pick?"

Another math problem said, "If Frederick got two beatings per day, how many beatings did he get in one week?"...

(District spokeswoman) Roach explained the teachers were trying to incorporate social studies lessons into the math problems, which is something the school district encourages. But the problem with the questions is there is no historical context.

I guess it would have been OK if the students had also been studying the antebellum South?

Update, 1/8/12: Curmudgeon weighs in on the topic with his usual grace, wit, and style :-)


KauaiMark said...

Change "slaves" to "Hollywood liberals" and I could go for it.


Hube said...

I'm assuming that was the topic in social studies, leading to the math problems. Nevertheless, the questions are ridiculously stupid (as in stupidly conceived). I mean, c'mon -- THINK, for heaven's sake, teacher!

Ellen K said...

What an offensive piece of drivel. Are these "educators" braindead? Totally inappropriate in terms of both subjects and the age level involved. There should be firings involved.

maxutils said...

The worst part about this question is, if you whip the slaves hard enough, they will pick as many oranges as you want them to. The answer is indeterminate. To answer this question, you must assume equal effort . . .and if you've got slaves picking only 7 oranges each, you picked your slaves poorly.

Yet another example of why cross curricular learning always sucks, unless it occurs naturally.