Math Process

In full disclosure, I hated Math growing up!  I still don’t like it very much, but my feelings on its importance have changed dramatically.  Here’s what happened.
Over the last couple of weeks a number of good conversations have taken place with youth.   One thing jumped out, they do math totally differently than the way I was taught.
I shared with some of them that as a student my teacher didn’t care if I got the right answer or not.  If I didn’t show how I got my answer, she marked it wrong, even if the answer was correct.  She cared about the process of getting the answer as much as she did the answer itself.  The youth laughed at me!  (It’s no fun getting old!)
They then proceeded to tell me that they used calculators in math class to get their answers.   They didn’t need to write it all out, because they didn’t need to know how they got the answer, they just needed to get the right answer.
This struck a nerve with me.  I firmly believe we’re doing youth a disservice by teaching in this manner.  I also believe that by not teaching them the “process” by which we get answers, we’re setting them up to be manipulated and controlled.
It seems to me that this teaching approach has also helped destroy critical thinking skills.  What I mean by that is instead of working through equations to see where something went wrong, they just rely on what their calculator tells them.
The exact same thing is true when it comes to other areas of our lives.  If we don’t know “how” to think and work our way through issues we’ll:
  1. Not deal with it because we don’t know how to.
  2. Deal with it incorrectly because we don’t know the correct way.
  3. Come to a wrong conclusion and believe we’re right.
  4. Get the right answer, but not “own” it, leaving us susceptible to deception.
This becomes very clear when you get into conversations and start asking “Why?” someone believes the way that they do.  More often than not, they don’t have a solid answer.  It’s usually goes something like this, “That’s just the way that it is.”, or “Everybody knows that!” or the most common response, “I don’t know!”
We’re far from perfect here at Reasons for Hope, but I can guarantee you this.  Bob, Juan and myself work very hard at teaching HOW to reason through issues instead of just teaching the right answer.
That’s why so many of our talks use video of those who attack Christianity and the reliability of the Bible.  We want to allow them to speak for themselves and then we critique what is being taught.
We don’t just use sound bites either.  We allow those that we disagree with to speak and then we show the Biblical worldview.  By doing this we can compare what we see in the world with what the two positions teach allowing someone to make an informed decision.  We sincerely believe that’s vitally important, so, thank you for helping us to do what we do.
I had a very interesting conversation with my barber today. He asked me what I had going for the rest of day and I told him that I had to work on an article for the ministry.  He’s not a Christian and I’ve witnessed to him over the years.  He tolerates me I think because I tip well.
Anyway, I told him what I was thinking of writing the article on.  It was basically what was written above, how we’re not teaching a generation how to think so we’re losing them, I’d just not put it to paper even though it had been on my mind for a few days.
He stopped cutting my hair, walked around in front of me, looked me in the eyes and said. “You’re absolutely right!  Can I stop you right there and tell you about an experience I just had?”  “Of course!” I responded.
He proceeded to tell me how he’d taken his daughter to purchase some clothes at a trendy store.  They went to the cashier to check out where a very pretty young lady, about 21 years old was waiting.  His total came to something like $173.35.  He reached into his wallet and pulled out eight $20.00 bills, one $10.00 bill and four $1.00 bills and handed then to her.
He said, “Carl, she just stood there looking at the cash.  So I joked with her and told her that I was a barber and everybody pays me in cash so I deal with cash.”  He said she still stood there looking at the bills, eventually she asked him, “Can you please pay in a different way?”  He said, “She didn’t know how to count actual cash!  I had to teach her how to make change right there in the store.”
We had a great conversation about how that would also apply to what she believes on other topics.  Instead of working through issues, we turn on biased television programs or read biased newspaper/magazines and just accept what we’re taught.  Just like the State Farm commercial where they joke that “You can’t lie on the internet!”  (Watch the commercial, it would be even funnier if it wasn’t so true!
Parents and Grandparents, satan doesn’t play fair and he’s coming after this younger generation.
One of the major tools that’s being used to deceive is an education system with a lack of emphasis on critical thinking and application of of what they believe.  Couple that with POWERFUL multimedia tools such as smart phones, iPads, computers etc. teaching an incorrect worldview and we have a disaster that’s brewing.
If you think I’m being overly dramatic about how powerful technology can be, do some research.  Those that create these “tools,” won’t even let their children use them!  They KNOW the impact that they have on the younger generation.
In an article entitled, “Silicon Valley parents are raising their kids tech-free—and it should be a red flag” we read:
“There are no video game systems inside the Koduri household, and neither child has their own cell phone yet. Saurav and Roshni can play games on their parents’ phones, but only for 10 minutes per week. (There are no limits to using the family’s vast library of board games.) Awhile back the family bought an iPad 2, but for the last five years it’s lived on the highest shelf in a linen closet.”
The parents above work at Apple and a YouTube clip-making business.
In an article entitled, “Why Silicon Valley parents are curbing their kids’ tech time” we read:
“Pierre Laurent, who has worked for companies including Microsoft and Intel, said he and his family typically leave their phones at a table to charge when at home. He says the tech industry designs products to hook users, reports CBS News’ Jamie Yuccas.
“I don’t think the parents are aware of that. They don’t see the consequences because nobody’s told them, you know, there’s no warning on the product,” Laurent said.”
If we’re to overcome this, WE HAVE TO TEACH HOW TO THINK AND APPLY OUR FAITH IN THE REAL WORLD!  May I ask you to please consider supporting us in this battle?
Please don’t think that we’re saying get rid of technology, because we’re not.  We’re just trying to put the “warning label” on it as Pierre Laurent mentioned.  Use technology responsibly, teach your children/grandchildren to use it responsibly and be aware of the impact that it’s having.  Be aware of the pitfalls and make sure that you and your family aren’t falling prey to something that is destroying lives.
We’re getting ready to start a campaign to raise $108,000 so that we can produce one deBUNKED video a month, for the next year.  Please pray that we’re successful in this first ever campaign for such a large amount.  If you can help us financially, that would be huge.  Maybe you can help us spiritually, that’s even huger.  Maybe you can share what we’re doing with some of your friends who may consider supporting us as well.  We have no marketing machine behind us, YOU are our marketing.
You’ve read/heard how YouTube and Facebook are blocking video’s made by other conservatives and not necessarily Christian organizations.  The same thing is happening with us.  We just don’t have a big enough megaphone to get into the primetime media and let people know.
Our YouTube Premium channel has blocked every one of our videos.  The only answer is to put them up on a server that we control and get them out to the public in a different manner.  One of those ways is our FREE App which has been exploding in use.  We want to take that to a whole new level as well.  We need your help to do these things though.
So, you’re consideration is sincerely appreciated.  Let us know how we can pray for you.  Blessings and . . .
Stay Bold!
P.S. – After reading the article our communications manager, Candace, told me that in the school system that her children attend they actually teach multiple ways of solving math problems.  Awesome!  I pray that I’m wrong and that my experiences with the youth that I’ve had are isolated incidents.  Please give us feedback.  Tell us what your experience has been.  Is what I saw an anomaly or are you seeing something similar as well.  Blessings!
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