Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Is the Provincial Government on Crack?

Last week, a friend of mine pointed out the following article to me here . To summarize, the article says that the Ontario government is thinking about getting rid of calculus at the grade 12 level. Apparently, ever since they reduced the high school curriculum from 5 years to 4 years, gr. 12 math now consists of part calculus and part algebra (maybe part finite too, but I'm not sure). Personally, I think that the government is on crack...not just for wanting to pull calculus out of the gr. 12 curriculum, but also for bastardizing gr. 12 math altogether. I can't believe that the Ontario government could botch up going from a 5-year high school system to a 4-year high school system. After all, except for Qu├ębec (and I don't even pretend to understand their CGEP system), all other provinces have a 4-year high school system. Translation: no need to re-invent the wheel!!!

I realize the calculus might not be for everybody. After all, if you're going into fine arts or music in university, you don't need it; however, if you're going into engineering, computer science, math, biology, or even commerce, it's an absolute must. To drop calculus from the high school curriculum altogether and leave it to the universities to teach it to our under-educated high school graduates is simply preposterous!

My solution: gr. 7, 8, and 9 math are pretty much useless. Seriously, do you remember learning anything new in those 3 years? I therefore think that math in those 3 years should be combined into 1. This means that gr. 7, 8, and 9 math material will be taught in gr. 7. This leaves room to do REAL math in the high school years. If math just isn't your thing, then don't bother taking it in the later years of high school. Also, scrap this whole combined gr. 12 math business and offer specialized matho courses: algegra/geometry, calculus, and finite, just like in the good 'ole days of OAC. Problem solved!

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