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Perhaps fortuitously, a colleague of mine and a Cal Tech graduate, this 
morning sent me the following  email that might relate, if only tangentially, to 
the ongoing math/algebra thread.
 
Happy New Year Anyway.
Gene Kerstiens
Andragogy Associates
(310) 326-5819
www.sbi4windows.com

Subject: THE NEW MATH

   Last week I purchased a burger at McDonnell's for $3.58
      The counter girl took my $4.00 and I pulled 8
 cents from my pocket and gave it to her. She stood
 there, holding the nickel and 3 pennies. While
 looking at the screen on her register, I sensed her
 discomfort and tried to tell her to just give me two
 quarters, but she hailed the manager for help. While
 he tried to explain the transaction to her, she
 stood there and cried. Why do I tell you this? 
 
      
 
   Because of the evolution in teaching math since
 the 1950s...... 
 
       Teaching Math In 1950
  A logger sells a truckload of lumber for $100. His
cost of production is 4/5 of the price. What is his
profit? 
 
      
 
   Teaching Math In 1960
   A logger sells a truckload of lumber for $100. His
 cost of production is 4/5 of the price, or $80. What
 is his profit? 
 
      
 
   Teaching Math In 1970
   A logger sells a truckload of lumber for $100. His
 cost of production is $80. Did he make a profit? 
 
      
 
   Teaching Math In 1980
   A logger sells a truckload of lumber for $100. His
 cost of production is $80 and his profit is $20 Your
 assignment: Underline the number 20. 
 
      
 
   Teaching Math In 1990
   A logger cuts down a beautiful forest because he
 is selfish and inconsiderate and cares nothing for
 the habitat of animals or the preservation of our
 woodlands. He does this so he can make a profit of
 $20. What do you think of this way of making a
 living? Topic for class participation after
 answering the question: How did the birds and
 squirrels feel as the logger cut down their homes?
 (There are no wrong answers.) 
 
      
 
 
   Teaching Math In 2006
   Un ranchero vende una carretera de maderapara
 $100. El cuesto de la produccion era $80. Cuantos
 tortillas se puede comprar?

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