# DailyDirt: Arithmetic Is The Third R?

### from the *urls-we-dig-up* dept

International math tests seem to consistently show that Americans don’t have competitive math skills. We can argue that these tests don’t measure real-life capabilities, but it might also be nice to see math test scores rise someday. Given the growth of online educational tools, the accessibility of good (and effective) math lessons will hopefully help to improve everyone’s math talents. Here are just a few interesting links on the topic of math.

- A study of German math students suggests that parental pressure and good grades don’t provide lasting incentives for kids to learn math skills. It seems obvious that the motivation behind learning would affect how well a student learns, but the conclusion could have some interesting effects on education policy and how to most effectively teach children. [url]
- Equations Squared is an online math game that assesses a player’s skills as he/she plays — awarding points for more complex mathematical understanding. The story of how this game was created is interesting, and the game won the grand prize in the ETS Math Assessment Game Challenge. [url]
- Math textbooks are created by a publishing industry which doesn’t necessarily care about the quality of education. There are a lot of problems in the US education system, but there may be some creative destruction in store for the textbook industry. [url]
- Adding a nonsensical math equation to your writing can give it a bit more authority. a^n+b^n=c^n QED [url]

If you’d like to read more awesome and interesting stuff, check out this unrelated (but not entirely random!) Techdirt post.

Filed Under: arithmetic, education, equations, gamification, math, textbooks

## Comments on “DailyDirt: Arithmetic Is The Third R?”

## international testing

what does it mean to have an average math score for a nation to rank number one versus thirty-one? how can you average millions (or thousands) of kids’ math scores on a single test and make policy decisions based on that….?!

## Re: international testing

This article addresses some of the problems with international testing:

http://news.stanford.edu/news/2013/january/test-scores-ranking-011513.html

## Re: Re: international testing

oh it’s the test not the stupidity of the populace !!!!

yes, the problem with international testing is you are tested and compared to other countries. And it shows up just how poor your educational system is.

## Re: Re: international testing

no, it actually measures the maths skills of Americans and compares them to the math skills of other nations.

The problem is Americans are just not good at math, it’s not international testing getting the answers WRONG…

It’s stupidity and ignorance.

## Re: Re: international testing

yes, and that the main problem with international testing is who poorly Americans do in them.

a^n+b^n=c^n QED what does a caret mean in rithmatic?

## Re:

To the “power of”

ie: 2^2 is 2 squared

## The Three R's

Readin’, ‘Ritin’, and ‘Rithmetic.

## Re: The Three R's

Wwhere the hell did that start from anyway?

## Re: Re: The Three R's

“The Three R’s” was an environmental campaign about two decades ago or so. It originally stood for “Reduce, Reuse, Recycle”.

Or at least, that’s where I heard it first. Apparently it stood for something similar-ish about 200 years ago. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_three_Rs

## Re: Re: Re: The Three R's

They’ve been around since the 30’s and there is really only 1 R, the others are W and A……Writing, Arithmetic and Reading had the acronym of WAR, and that didn’t sound right. The other acronyms didn’t work either (RAW, ARW or RWA) so they went with phonics and got the 3 R’s

## ^ symbol for exponent

Was spread (like a disease) via ancient BASIC.

## All us apologists at Techdirt know what it is

Of course, we all here at Techdirt know what the third “Arrrh!” stands for nowadays… even if the **AA’s don’t!

/sarc

all you need to know is how to add and subtract, the rest falls in line….it might just take you a week longer to figure out the answer.

Haven’t performed long division in 3.5 years and that was just to help my daughter in math class.

I think the biggest problem with math today or physics is that they are divorced from real world problems, math was invented to describe the world around us but that is not what is taught in school.

Math teachers should start teaching math by offering a real world problem that can be solved using that math, that is what drives interest in my opinion, the problems should also be about current tendencies.

## Re:

that’s crazy, when in fact physics is the application of math IN THE REAL WORLD. Physical world at that.

like ‘gravity accelerates’ object towards the earth at 9.8m/s/s

or second^2

what physics do you know that does not describe the real world ?

## My 3 R's

Rent, rip, return. 🙂

We can argue that these tests don’t measure real-life capabilitiesat least your right there, it measures real world INcapabilities.

so you are willing to argue that even though Americans cannot do math tests does not mean they don’t know how to do maths ?

Americans are not knows for their smarts, as shown by the total lack of understanding of even something as simple as the difference between infinity and ‘very large’.

Simply Americans do not display a reasonable level of technical or educational knowledge either in testing or in real life.

Self denial, that’s an entirely different issue though. (but it’s the test that is wrong).. we are really smart ‘honest’ !!!!!