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ytterbiumanalyst

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After helping to tutor some students this morning who "only had four problems to do," I have established the Law of Mathematical Homework: The amount of homework assigned in a mathematics course is inversely proportional to the difficulty of the problems.
 

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ytterbiumanalyst said:
After helping to tutor some students this morning who "only had four problems to do," I have established the Law of Mathematical Homework: The amount of homework assigned in a mathematics course is inversely proportional to the difficulty of the problems.
LOL. My state has a very low S.E.S. If we assign homework too often, we can be assured that less than half of our students will complete it. I usually only give home work three nigths a week and I only assign five to ten problems per assignment. When we are covering simple problems like solving two step equations, I will give ten problems. When we are doing very long drawn out problems like solving systems of equations, I will assign five problems. All other drill and practice is done in class.
 

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Papist said:
LOL. My state has a very low S.E.S. If we assign homework too often, we can be assured that less than half of our students will complete it. I usually only give home work three nigths a week and I only assign five to ten problems per assignment. When we are covering simple problems like solving two step equations, I will give ten problems. When we are doing very long drawn out problems like solving systems of equations, I will assign five problems. All other drill and practice is done in class.
What is a S.E.S.?

I still remember, in high school, being constantly bombarded with tonnes of homework each night.  Though, looking back, I cannot believe I thought *that* was a heavy workload. :p
 

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Nebelpfade said:
Papist said:
LOL. My state has a very low S.E.S. If we assign homework too often, we can be assured that less than half of our students will complete it. I usually only give home work three nigths a week and I only assign five to ten problems per assignment. When we are covering simple problems like solving two step equations, I will give ten problems. When we are doing very long drawn out problems like solving systems of equations, I will assign five problems. All other drill and practice is done in class.
What is a S.E.S.?

I still remember, in high school, being constantly bombarded with tonnes of homework each night.  Though, looking back, I cannot believe I thought *that* was a heavy workload. :p
Socio-economic status.
 

greekischristian

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I can't count how many high school classes I got B's in instead of A's because I flat out refused to do most the homework. In general it's useless busy work that doesn't teach you anything not covered in the lecture, what's the point?
 

serb1389

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GiC said:
I can't count how many high school classes I got B's in instead of A's because I flat out refused to do most the homework. In general it's useless busy work that doesn't teach you anything not covered in the lecture, what's the point?
to make you conformed, disciplined, and in general a good boy
 

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GiC said:
I can't count how many high school classes I got B's in instead of A's because I flat out refused to do most the homework. In general it's useless busy work that doesn't teach you anything not covered in the lecture, what's the point?
There is alot less lecturing in the High School classroom these days. Its more about discovery learning and higher level thinking skills. The home work is there to drill the basic skills.
 

greekischristian

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serb1389 said:
GiC said:
I can't count how many high school classes I got B's in instead of A's because I flat out refused to do most the homework. In general it's useless busy work that doesn't teach you anything not covered in the lecture, what's the point?
to make you conformed, disciplined, and in general a good boy
Well, we can see that didn't work ;)
 

greekischristian

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Papist said:
GiC said:
I can't count how many high school classes I got B's in instead of A's because I flat out refused to do most the homework. In general it's useless busy work that doesn't teach you anything not covered in the lecture, what's the point?
There is alot less lecturing in the High School classroom these days. Its more about discovery learning and higher level thinking skills. The home work is there to drill the basic skills.
Sounds like people are trying to blame poor teaching methods and abilities on S.E.C. ;D
 

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GiC said:
Papist said:
GiC said:
I can't count how many high school classes I got B's in instead of A's because I flat out refused to do most the homework. In general it's useless busy work that doesn't teach you anything not covered in the lecture, what's the point?
There is alot less lecturing in the High School classroom these days. Its more about discovery learning and higher level thinking skills. The home work is there to drill the basic skills.
Sounds like people are trying to blame poor teaching methods and abilities on S.E.C. ;D
Are you suggesting that lecture is a better teaching method?
 

Fr. George

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GiC said:
I can't count how many high school classes I got B's in instead of A's because I flat out refused to do most the homework. In general it's useless busy work that doesn't teach you anything not covered in the lecture, what's the point?
Some people get it without the homework, some people need the repetition to understand the underlying principle.  For being a man of the people, you sure don't do well understanding different learning needs...
 

greekischristian

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Papist said:
GiC said:
Papist said:
GiC said:
I can't count how many high school classes I got B's in instead of A's because I flat out refused to do most the homework. In general it's useless busy work that doesn't teach you anything not covered in the lecture, what's the point?
There is alot less lecturing in the High School classroom these days. Its more about discovery learning and higher level thinking skills. The home work is there to drill the basic skills.
Sounds like people are trying to blame poor teaching methods and abilities on S.E.C. ;D
Are you suggesting that lecture is a better teaching method?
Having been forced to endure some of the teaching methods you speak of in Secondary School...I'd say that without the hint of hesitation or doubt. Nothing like taking a month to teach a subject that should take one lecture hour.
 

Fr. George

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serb1389 said:
GiC said:
I can't count how many high school classes I got B's in instead of A's because I flat out refused to do most the homework. In general it's useless busy work that doesn't teach you anything not covered in the lecture, what's the point?
to make you conformed, disciplined, and in general a good boy
You will be assimilated.  Resistance is futile.
 

greekischristian

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Fr. George said:
GiC said:
I can't count how many high school classes I got B's in instead of A's because I flat out refused to do most the homework. In general it's useless busy work that doesn't teach you anything not covered in the lecture, what's the point?
Some people get it without the homework, some people need the repetition to understand the underlying principle.  For being a man of the people, you sure don't do well understanding different learning needs...
But you know me well enough to know that I'm also an elitist when it comes to academic circles; especially the most reverend and esteemed discipline of mathematics...heck, I get offended when engineers use mathematical principles they are unable to derive and prove using the fundamental axioms of number theory, analysis, and topology. ;)
 

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I find one of the major problems is that theory is becoming a footnote to application.  I.e.:  First year chem students who love "lab work", but still are dumbfounded by basic reaction stoichiometry.  Application can be used to help explain theory, but should never replace it.
 

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GiC said:
Papist said:
GiC said:
Papist said:
GiC said:
I can't count how many high school classes I got B's in instead of A's because I flat out refused to do most the homework. In general it's useless busy work that doesn't teach you anything not covered in the lecture, what's the point?
There is alot less lecturing in the High School classroom these days. Its more about discovery learning and higher level thinking skills. The home work is there to drill the basic skills.
Sounds like people are trying to blame poor teaching methods and abilities on S.E.C. ;D
Are you suggesting that lecture is a better teaching method?
Having been forced to endure some of the teaching methods you speak of in Secondary School...I'd say that without the hint of hesitation or doubt. Nothing like taking a month to teach a subject that should take one lecture hour.
Look, lecture is for me the best method of learning. But I am a fairly intelligent person, as are you. However, for most students this method does not work as well. In fact, most research demonstrates that of all the teaching methods regurlarly used, lecture has the least positive effect. Sorry to say that this but for the masses, there is no evidence that lectures are effective.
 

greekischristian

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Nebelpfade said:
I find one of the major problems is that theory is becoming a footnote to application.  I.e.:  First year chem students who love "lab work", but still are dumbfounded by basic reaction stoichiometry.  Application can be used to help explain theory, but should never replace it.
The teaching of practice without theory is a huge problem in modern education and without a grasp of theory, students will never fully understand or appreciate the practical implications. The one University that I'm aware of that has made at least decent inroads to correcting this paradigm is MIT.

How can you teach 'basic algebra' without having first introduced groups, rings, and fields? Why jump to applied calculus without covering analysis? What good is programming without a grasp of algorithmic analysis and digital logic? Who ever thought of teaching Classical Mechanics without at least enough Relativity and Quantum Mechanics to explain WHY it works that way? And what good does it do anyone to be able to name all the parts of a cell on a cartoon picture if you don't grasp neural networks, cell signaling, evolutionary biology, etc.?

We're behind in the sciences because we don't teach the sciences, we teach out of the Cliff's notes, teach just enough to past the (dumbed down) tests.
 

greekischristian

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Papist said:
GiC said:
Papist said:
GiC said:
Papist said:
GiC said:
I can't count how many high school classes I got B's in instead of A's because I flat out refused to do most the homework. In general it's useless busy work that doesn't teach you anything not covered in the lecture, what's the point?
There is alot less lecturing in the High School classroom these days. Its more about discovery learning and higher level thinking skills. The home work is there to drill the basic skills.
Sounds like people are trying to blame poor teaching methods and abilities on S.E.C. ;D
Are you suggesting that lecture is a better teaching method?
Having been forced to endure some of the teaching methods you speak of in Secondary School...I'd say that without the hint of hesitation or doubt. Nothing like taking a month to teach a subject that should take one lecture hour.
Look, lecture is for me the best method of learning. But I am a fairly intelligent person, as are you. However, for most students this method does not work as well. In fact, most research demonstrates that of all the teaching methods regurlarly used, lecture has the least positive effect. Sorry to say that this but for the masses, there is no evidence that lectures are effective.
I remember in high school that we spent probably a semester (between Pre-Calculus and Calculus I) teaching the concept of an integral. 'Exploring' this idea of area under the curve being approximated by rectangles, belabouring a concept as simple as the limit week after week, then doing it all again the following year. It's a VERY simple concept, one lecture to introduce the concept, one more to provide the theoretical background, two more to derive the 'rules' used for practical application...with class every day, that's LESS than ONE WEEK. If it would make people feel better, you could spend the last day of that week going over examples to make the concept obvious (as though it wouldn't be already), the next week you could move on to something else.

Lecture is a better approach for two reasons, first it gives you all the information in a logically ordered fashion making it much easier to grasp and internalize the subject than the shotgun approach of 'exploration'. Secondly, and most importantly, the lecture is MUCH more efficient, as I discussed above, you can do in a week what in some schools today will occupy a semester. Education takes long enough without slowing instruction down to a snail's pace, to do so wastes time that could be spent on other topics, DEPRIVING students of the education they deserve.

There's a place for 'exploration', we call it research. It's MUCH harder, not easier, than learning from a lecture. Giving the choice of 'exploring' the Riemann Hypothesis myself or sitting down and have someone lecture me on how it's proven, I certainly know what choice I'd take; unfortunately, we enjoy no such luxury on this matter. If someone thinks mathematical research is easier than a lecture on mathematics, they'd do much better to start publishing their own original proofs than sitting through a high school math class.
 
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