All over China, parents tell their children to stop complaining and to finish their quadratic equations and trigonometric functions because there are sixty-five million American kids going to bed with no math at all.A friend forwarded this to me recently. I get sent a lot of quotes and stats of this flavor. I appreciate the aid in trying motivate my students to do math. I'm always looking for another tool in the, "When will I ever use this" battle. However, something about these quotes always seems to turn my stomach. It is either the tatic of fear-mongering or the unanalyzed assumption that the world is ultimately a better place if America continues it's preeminence among nations. I'm wondering what your reactions are? I'm looking forward to some good comments.
- Michael Cunningham