[ExI] google classroom, was: RE: Meta question

spike spike66 at att.net
Sat Aug 20 22:45:15 UTC 2016



From: extropy-chat [mailto:extropy-chat-bounces at lists.extropy.org] On Behalf Of William Flynn Wallace
Sent: Saturday, August 20, 2016 1:55 PM
To: ExI chat list <extropy-chat at lists.extropy.org>
Subject: Re: [ExI] google classroom, was: RE: Meta question


Result: a sharp motivated student can get from basic addition to calculus in four years rather than the usual twelve, and once they do, they know everything in between much better and can use it far more effectively.




>…Now History - I never had a good teacher and think that maybe it can't be taught any way at all.  I never made above a C in it except for Ancient History (easier teacher probably, as it was not a popular course).  Ss should be given a History DVD and tested later.  No need for a teacher!


bill w



BillW, let us use that comment as a jumping off point and look specifically at history please.


This is a perfect example of the shortcomings of traditional teaching imposed on us by the inherent limitations of classroom constraints.  As in mathematics, some students will get it immediately, others eventually, some never, but it is easy enough to verify that in our own country, the collective understanding of history is anywhere from appalling to something worse than that.  It isn’t just a song: we don’t know much about history, even those of us who do know what a slide rule is for.


Since you and I are Americans, do this experiment: ask a few fellow yanks if they know the location of Helsinki.  The blanks stares you will get from most is better than those who attempt it: Yup, ah know where’s Helsinki.  Bad people go there when they die.  The really bad ones keep right on sinkin’ down and end up in Hail-sinki.


I exaggerate.  But not by much.  I would be surprised if 20% of yanks can name the country.  We yanks are not given a good overall view of history or geo-politics.  Our formal education on this general area is sketchy, piecemeal, designed by committee.


Do let me return to math for the following thought experiment.


Imagine teaching a child from start of first grade up through the top level a high school student generally attains, which would be the equivalent of about through the first semester of calculus.  Imagine all the mathematics included in those 12 years of instruction, and imagine parsing it into skills.  I leave you to define those skills any way you want, but Khan did so with about 8 to 10 minute lectures, followed by four levels of practice, typically about five exercises in each level, then a final assessment to achieve mastery in that skill.  So in general, a skill would take a typical student about half an hour average.


The areas will include arithmetic, the algebra, the geometry, trigonometry, numerical analysis, probability and statistics, modeling, analytic geometry, pre-calculus, all the way up thru and including differential (but not integral) calculus.


Given those criteria, how many discrete skills would you estimate are required to go from start to end of first semester calculus?  Or another way to ask: if you were designing a complete start to end of differential calculus training regime, how many skills would you estimate you will need to create for an average student?


You may work backwards if you wish: estimate the number of hours of study, and time per skill.


Don’t look up Sal Khan’s skill breakdown before you estimate it on your own.


Ready, set, GO!



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