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Teaching Yourself

Saarbrücken, HTW, Mathematics Workshop

Saarbrücken, HTW, Mathematics Workshop (Photo credit: flgr)

When I was in school I was expected to learn how to do something and to master this skill on my own.  There was no teacher utilizing a method of instructing in math or reading.   Tutoring and such additional help is common today but was only used then in extreme cases where the student couldn’t master the subject.  If they were given extra help in class, the  rest of the class would fall behind.  Memorization skills  and good handwriting were expected and competitions were held in these areas with winners and losers.  To the gifted student, it was motivating and now we know it created  brains filled with much knowledge and good problem solving skills.

Such students still exist.  My son and I both figure out how to do math problems on our own.  I never was very good at helping with the “new” math homework when my kids were in school.  Surprisingly I took advanced math classes in high school and did well; but calculus was never offered.  I never did master calculus but I memorized derivations in graduate school when calculus was used in statistics class.

Computer Basics Class

Computer Basics Class (Photo credit: taylor library)

When methods are used to teach math, they often do not “click” with every student.  This is like with using the computer.  You need often to figure it out for yourself and when someone else teaches you, they teach you their way which may or may not work for you.  Everyone’s wiring is different and what works for one person may not work for another person.  There are many different ways to do things on the computer and how something is done in one program may not be the way something is done in another.  Frequently programs on the computer assume that you will already know something and skip explaining this step.  If you already know how some things are ordinarily done on the computer, you may be able to almost automatically fill in the missing step while a novice won’t be able to do this.

Assuming that somebody knows something or knows how to do something may make somebody look like an “ass” whether it is you or the other person depends on who determines the winner of the argument you or the other person.  I frequently find this a problem with men who feel that if you can’t convince them of something that you are automatically wrong.  Who determines the winner is the problem here.  As a result, I refuse to participate in such arguments.

 

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