Opening Lines: Making Life Harder for Math Teachers

Because I keep coming across articles about mathematics that begin with derisive remarks about the discipline, I’m collecting those opening lines here.  This is apparently a popular formula for journalists, but the normalization of hostility toward math(s) doesn’t make a teacher’s job any easier.  Send me any that you find!

  • “We have all had to work on tasks we detest: Calculus homework, for example, is boring and hard. As soon as we start, we feel mentally exhausted, and the quality of our work suffers.” From “Liking work really matters,” in, yes, the New York Times, September 5, 2014.
  • “American students are bored by math, science and engineering.”  From “Who Says Math Has to Be Boring?”  NYTimes editorial, December 7, 2013.  (See my response to the whole editorial here.)
  • “Giving fully conscious but paralysed people hard sums to do might seem like adding insult to injury.”  From “Maths quiz helps paralysed people talk with their eyes,” in New Scientist – 05 August 2013.
  • “As camps go, the Summer Program in Mathematical Problem Solving might sound like a recipe for misery…” From “A sleepaway camp where math is the main sport,” in The New York Times, July 27, 2011.
  • “Although many school-going youth might disagree, a new study finds that geometry is an intuitive subject that is easy to grasp even in the absence of formal training.”  From “Learning geometry without a protractor” in The New York Times, May 23, 2011.
  • “The drudgery of solving for X flew out the door of a Presidio Middle School classroom Friday as the giddy students traded in their back-breaking algebra textbooks for an iPad…” from “Digital books engage students during test drive,” in the San Francisco Chronicle, Sept. 11, 2010.

One Response to Opening Lines: Making Life Harder for Math Teachers

  1. Pingback: Another Unhelpful Opening (and Middle, and Ending) from the Times | MathSugarOff

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s