Stephen Downes tells me I shouldn’t teach math. (I did preserve his comment, by the way, on my 40,000 talents post, though I did edit the entry. No point in leaving wrong information up. One of my schools former financial officers once told me, “I can only remember five things a day. I would like for them to be right things, and not wrong things”.)
He’s right, too. I shouldn’t.
I feel that I am exceptionally poor at math, doing things by rote, and I have a tremendously difficult time recognizing when my answers are way off base.
In this particular 40,000 talents problem, I converted talents (an ancient measure) to pounds, and then to kilograms when Wolfram Alpha converted “pounds of silver” to Pounds Sterling (₤) as I tried to convert “pounds of silver” to “US dollars”. And in the process of converting pounds to kilograms, I forgot what kilo- meant, and wound up assuming an object the size of a semi-trailer was actually the size of my town’s “downtown”.
Argh. I deserve to be taken to task.
Stephen’s more recent entries involve the importance of becoming master learners, and modeling what good learning involves.
So here I am. I’m publicly asking for help. I clearly need to work my way through a general mathematics course. I work pretty well from books, but not particularly well from textbooks.
What should I do? So I can model learning to the next generation, AND become better at math?