Submit AND Face the Wrath
of testing (education) is one impression I got when I chanced upon an 8th standard mathematics textbook authored by a state textbook society and forced upon unsuspecting students.
Page 1 of the textbook starts with a sentence (pun intended) in bullet format shot at point-blank range (i.e. no introduction, no preface, and who got time to welcome students to the subject with a Please read this):
- appreciate the logical development of number system
(since we are now in India we have to put up with)
- appreciate the contributions of Indian mathematicians
Page 2 cuts to chase. Silly of me to expect (based on the order of listing) the authors to discuss the ‘logical development’ before breaking into song-and-dance of Indian Ingenuity, which pops up again on page 3 in the guise of quoting our coffee-table genius Einstein and in between we are told with a terse ‘Study them’ all (as in all that the authors seem to know) about closure, commutative, and associative properties, as though they are on an austerity drive dictated by Angela Merkel (to save some pixels at the expense of pupil’s understanding; I guess), in one sentence.
Let me hasten to qualify—before you conclude standards, be it of textbooks or of teaching, are falling: I remember, from my college days, we had textbooks prescribed for almost every engineering course (civil, mechanical, electrical) all authored by one guy (speak of Indian Ingenuity: a librarian who stayed late after work to avoid, as long as possible, his nagging wife
I hope the attitude towards students [in your countries] is little more decent.
P.S. I wonder how many—out of the billion or so Indians—can reinvent ZER0. I heard them (the academic elites) champion pathetic causes such as capitalizing ‘b’ in boson, but can they draw a circle given a pencil and a piece of paper (metaphorically speaking, albeit seriously)?