Germany secondary school final exam (math)

45 posts in this topic

21 minutes ago, alderhill said:


The Chinese school system is really nothing to put on a pedestal, at all.



And UK is quite adopting it for math curriculum as far as I know


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17 hours ago, alderhill said:

The German system streams students far too young for that to be reliable. 


'Talents' are not drawn out of the ether, they too are cultivated and trainable to an extent. So yes some will be born virtuosos, but the majority are trained. In other words, there may be some genetic predisposition, but from everything I understand on the subject, it's the minor contribution in the "nature vs. nurture" dichotomy.


Most kids would probably find 100 other things they enjoy more than maths or physics. 



this is all absolutely true.


I grew up in NY state when they still had the Regents system, which was extremely similar to the current German system.  I was interested in art and writing, but because I was enrolled in the Regents track, I was "forced" to take higher level math, science, social sciences, etc. And to graduate I had to take a series of exams to prove I actually knew the stuff.  It was "horrible"


The basic idea is to give kids a WELL ROUNDED education and to challenge them to develop different problem solving and thinking skills.  Essentially, high school is a time when kids learn to learn, and exposing them to subjects that are "hard" or "don't come naturally" is in many ways part of the point.  


all that stuff I "had" to learn?  Well it turned out to be very good for me.  When I finally went to college I started as an english major, then because I was again "forced" to take a natural science I got turned onto biology, so I switched to that, then I was "forced" to take calculus and truly fell in love with math which I had HATED all through high school and barely squeaked by to pass those classes.  Then I was required to take two computer science courses as part of my math track and guess what?  I loved that too.  So in the end I double majored in math and computer science.  If I had not been forced to take math through trig and natural science/chemistry, I never could have even switched out of that english program as I would have been taking basic algebra and a catch-all "natural science for dummies" or so, as I would not have had the educational foundations to take the more interesting courses that changed my track completely.  I hated it when I had to do it, but in the end it served me very well.


Left to their own devices, kids (or even adults) will very likely never discover these passions primarily because "it's too hard" to get started.  If they have effectively learned to learn - even or possibly especially subjects they don't like - when they are young, it's a skill for life that allows them to do all kinds of things in the future.


oh and no, I'm not an outlier.  My ex, most of my friends, and many coworkers had similar stories.  they didn't like math or science as kids, they sucked at it, but they discovered an interest later in life.  They were able to pursue that interest in college because they had been "forced" to learn many of these topics in high school.  


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On 5/7/2019, 3:37:21, SmurfLee said:

This is what I am talking about. If they are not planning to study natural science, and they have to take the rather hard math final exam, it does not seem to me sensible.

Actually the Abitur isn´t called Abitur but the official term is "Allgemeine Hochschulreife". That implies that it certifies that you have a decent general knowledge. An maths and science are certainly part of general knowledge. Plus you´ll need maths in social sciences as well (think e. g. statistics).


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17 hours ago, SmurfLee said:


This is just toooooooo easy for people who are intersted in science, but would be super difficult to a potential good writer.

I think this is 8th grade math in China.



Those math exercises there were published by a group of university professors who advocate a more math-focused (less "obfuscated") learning stream in Gymnasium, and who use those exercises - drawn from the Mittelstufe curriculum, i.e. grade 8-10 - to show that students in their courses are incapable of "proper math". They tested it repeatedly with first-semester students in a construction engineering course.


Their main gripe is with current school curricula pushing a "modellization" approach to math (and generally the "competence oriented" approach of current curricula), the cut of certain parts they deem important from the curricula, and the modern math teaching approch using aids (calculators, computers etc) which lead to schoolkids not learning how to actually do that kinda stuff by themselves.


That has of course to be seen with the caveat that math professors were already complaining about schools "not properly preparing students" for (math-oriented) university-level studies twenty years ago.


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