American students not the only ones losing math skills – so are the Finns
Finland has long been envied for its students’ scores on the international TIMMS test which looks at mah and science skills. American educrats have admired the Finnish school model and credited it with producing those outstanding results. But the latest news to come out of Finland tarnishes that glowing model.
The article below from Kotimaa (The Homeland) [and please forgive the roughness of the computer translation – my Finnish is a little rusty] says that the math skills of the typical Finnish student have dropped appreciably.
“The stark result was revealed, as well as adult – a large part of the math skills are not enough to solve the problems of everyday life”
“The degree of knowledge of mathematics in primary schools has remained unchanged, but the boys ‘ learning results are divided on the extreme ends.”
The article says that the students struggle particularly with percentages.
“Some of the students is dominated by perusprosenttilaskut [untranslatable]. They do not know how to calculate, if it is 30% discount on a € 50 shirt, what is the new price? Is it worth it to buy? Or when you take a student loan and the payment of interest, you should know how much the final cost is, expert Sean Julin says in a report.”
In the comments under The Homeland article people said not to worry about the dropping scores. The internet and “Google” will provide all the information people need to function from here on out. Memorization or a core set of knowledge housed in the human brain is so passé. Assuming that is true, wouldn’t the only test we need to give our kids be one that measured their ability to search the internet? Shouldn’t we have national speed and accuracy trials for searching?
Of course when the internet is down, remember who will still be able to do computations.