I have often wondered at the level of illiteracy I encounter in the marketplace. Someone sent me this by email – and it seems to ring true.
The Evolution Of Teaching Arithmetic
1. Teaching Arithmetic In the 1950s: A timber cutter sells a truckload of timber for $100. His cost of production is 4/5 of the price. What is his profit?
2. Teaching Arithmetic In the 1970s: A timber cutter sells a truckload of timber for $100. His cost of production is 4/5 of the price, or $80. What is his profit?
3. Teaching Not Arithmetic but Maths In the 1980s: A timber cutter sells a truckload of timber for $100. His cost of production is $80 Did he make a profit? Yes or No
4. Teaching Maths In the 1990s: A timber cutter sells a truckload of timber for $100. His cost of production is $80 and his profit is $20. Your assignment: Underline the number 20.
5. Teaching Maths In the 2000s: A timber cutter 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, feel free to express your feelings e.g, anger, anxiety, inadequacy, helplessness etc.) Should you require debriefing at conclusion of exam there are counsellors available to assist you adjust back into the real world.
The Huffington Post reported in 2013:
“According to a study conducted in late April by the U.S. Department of Education and the National Institute of Literacy, 32 million adults in the U.S. can’t read. That’s 14 percent of the population. 21 percent of adults in the U.S. read below a 5th grade level, and 19 percent of high school graduates can’t read.”
Another source posted this infographic just last year:
We have progressively made things easier and easier in the United States, both in education, in the marketplace, on the sports field, and even in the Church. We have, in many ways, become a nation of entitlement. Hard work is eschewed. No one wants to do it if it’s too hard. And probably many of you don’t know what “eschew” meant. Look it up. Do the work. Put down your calculators, and drop the X-Box controllers. Get off the couch, go to a Library. Read something that is not a comic book, something with big words. Thumb through a dictionary. Turn off the idiot box and get out and live.
And you Christians, pick up a Bible every day and read it slowly and carefully, meditating on its words. Lazy Avenue has brought us to Obtuse City (look it up). Quit following the crowd. Learn. Grow!