Malaysian School Education May Suck, But So Does Post-Modern Western Maths


If you think the Malaysian education system is slowly turning into a swamp of useless muck…

Karangan UPSR

The best of collection

Backwaaaaard, march! Hup, two three four…

Educate THIS!

…You may feel better after you take a look at how ‘First World’ nations teach their Fuzzy Math and be thankful that we still have a chance to NOT go down that road.

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Sample math quiz question from a German maths textbook:

In 2004, a bread roll cost 40 cents. For the wheat that went into it, the farmer received less than 2 cents. What do you think about that?

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Math problems in the fifth-grade “Everyday Math” textbook used in the USA:

A. If math were a color, it would be –, because –.
B. If it were a food, it would be –, because –.
C. If it were weather, it would be –, because –.

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Sample math question and answer in a parents’ maths guide book Hawaii:

A mathematics question for Grade 6 students, which requires a written-response, says:

“Lani wants to buy Kona coffee to send to her family on the mainland. The coffee is priced at $7 per pound including tax. If Lani can spend $100, what is the greatest number of pounds of coffee she can buy? Write your answer in your response booklet and show or explain how you found your answer.”

The average sixth grader should easily be able to divide 100 by 7 and answer in less than 20 seconds “14 and 2/7 pounds of coffee”. But that would not be the high scoring answer, according to the parent booklet.

Instead, the student should also show how the answer was derived, subtracting 7 from 100 – 14 times. Parents who were surprised by this answer and strategy their 11 and 12 year old children are supposed to employ say imagine the student trying to complete this task 40 times during a timed test.

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From Illinois Loop:

We have 25 boxes of paper clips, 100 per box. Take away 50. How many are left? Here’s the fuzzy math way to do it in third grade — and get the wrong answer.

   3rdGradeFuzzyMaths

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How to perform complex division video comparison.

   FuzzyMathVideo1

Traditional maths uses long division:

   FuzzyMathVideo2

‘Everyday Maths’ uses some chimera-mutant-hybrid called partial quotients:

   FuzzyMathVideo3

   FuzzyMathVideo4

   FuzzyMathVideo5

   FuzzyMathVideo6

   FuzzyMathVideo7

Finally done! Now on to the next ques…

Time’s up students! Hand in your exam sheets.

Crud! Well, luckily results count for nothing in modern feel-good-about-yourself curricula. Who cares if I can’t get a job, as long as I can protect my self-esteem?

More vids at here and here.

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In fact, the Americans are scoring worse than even us!!!

The test results are in: America’s children are flunking math. In 1996 American high school seniors finished close to the bottom on an international mathematics test. At the end of last year, American eighth-graders ranked below those of Malaysia, Bulgaria, and Latvia.

In a typical whole-math classroom, children do multiplication not by learning the abstract multiplication table, but by using piles of marshmallows. They count a million birdseeds in order to understand the concept “million.” They measure angles by stretching rubber bands across pegged boards.

“I’ve just checked out a library book that is 1,344 pages long! The book is due in three weeks. How many pages will I need to read a day to finish the book in time?” The proper way to solve the problem would be to use the method for long division: 1,344 divided by 21.

By contrast, the whole-math approach assigns students to a group, requires them to design their own problem-solving rules, and urges them to guess if all else fails.

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Joke that illustrates the decline of Western math standards:

Evolution of Math Quizzes

1960s
A logger cuts and sells a truckload of lumber for $100. His cost of production is four-fifths of that amount. What is his profit?

1970s New-math
A logger exchanges a set (L) of lumber for a set (M) of money. The cardinality of Set M is 100. The set C of production costs contains 20 fewer points. What is the cardinality of Set P of profits?

1980s
A logger cuts and sells a truckload of lumber for $100. Her cost is $80, her profit is $20. Find and circle the number 20.

1990s
An unenlightened logger cuts down a beautiful stand of 100 trees in order to make a $20 profit. Write an essay explaining how you feel about this as a way to make money. Topic for discussion: How did the forest birds and squirrels feel?

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And the crusade against the fuzzy logic-suicide continues at Weapons of Math Destruction, one comic at a time…

   3-yekte

   12-evenoddhomework

   40-trackcoach

   63-dixiecup

   80-300words

   83-leveler

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4 Responses to “Malaysian School Education May Suck, But So Does Post-Modern Western Maths”

  1. Michel Says:

    haha really nice cartoons!

  2. abdirahman Says:

    what is the best school to go to in Malaysia because i am comming to Malaysia in like 2 weeks and staying there for like 4 years.
    i am going to grade 9 so please tell me

    second of all how hard is the education in Malaysia o a scale from 1-10
    the tell me how much harder is it from Canadian EDUCATION

  3. Simon Thong Says:

    I presume you’re NOT Malaysian, which means that you’ll have to enrol in an International School. There are several and your dad’s colleagues should be able to help you decide.

  4. Scott Thong Says:

    I’m not sure about how Malaysia compares to Canada, but according to this local Malaysian teacher, our level of education vis-a-vis age of students is about 5 to 6 years behind Belgium’s.

    http://hastenministries.wordpress.com/2007/08/04/backwaaaaard-march-hup-two-three-four/

    And here’s what topics in Mathematics students in Malaysia learn from ages 13 to 17:

    http://www.scribd.com/doc/8401829/KBSM-Maths-Syllabus

    Scroll down in that link’s document.

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