Kids still need to learn how to add, subtract, multiply, and so on - BEFORE they pick up the calculators! If we start giving them calculators from age 5 on, they're not doing anything but going through the motions - learning which buttons to push. There's no active construction of mathematical knowledge going on there. We all should know that: I purposely use calculators because it makes my life easier. And I pay for it too - after years of having technology do it for me? I'm a lot slower at simple mathematical operations than I used to be.

Imagine if this was the only way we ever had done math: how would we ever continue to advance mathematical knowledge?

Lots of those young folks at the cash registers at stores don't know much about math. Fast food places too. This mattered in the old days when we actually had a thing called cash.

ReplyDeleteI hadn't thought about the credit card thing. But yes - another place we just don't practice any more. Maybe some would say b/c of that, we don't need to be able to do, quickly, these computations.

ReplyDeleteBut sometimes I guess I'm a traditionalist.