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Is the the most baffling geometry question ever posed for a 7 year old pupil?
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Feb 26, 2021 03:03:05   #
twosummers
 
This article appeared in a UK newspaper yesterday - a UK University Maths lecturer does not know how to advise his seven year old daughter when she was given this problem at school. What would your advice be? IS it maths or philosophy or even maths philosophy?


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Feb 26, 2021 03:07:46   #
robertjerl Loc: Corona, California
 
twosummers wrote:
This article appeared in a UK newspaper yesterday - a UK University Maths lecturer does not know how to advise his seven year old daughter when she was given this problem at school. What would your advice be? IS it maths or philosophy or even maths philosophy?


Since right angles are formed by the 90° meeting of two straight lines there are no right angles in this form. It is one straight line intersecting two points of a curved line. No matter how much it looks like two right angles on each end it is not that half circle is curved all the way around.

And I suck at math.

Feb 26, 2021 04:37:10   #
Delderby Loc: Derby UK
 
twosummers wrote:
This article appeared in a UK newspaper yesterday - a UK University Maths lecturer does not know how to advise his seven year old daughter when she was given this problem at school. What would your advice be? IS it maths or philosophy or even maths philosophy?


If a seven year old was given this problem at school then the teacher should be fired. That is the only philosophy needed.

 
 
Feb 26, 2021 05:48:56   #
daldds Loc: NYC
 
Remember, the question is true or false… Explain your answer.
Since there are no straight lines in a circle, the answer is immediately obvious. I might not have known this when I was seven. Eight? Nine? Educational methods seem to have changed over the last 80+ years. My wife is the head of school which teaches in “project-based learning.“ Much better by far than the way we learned with memorization.

Just sayin’.

Feb 26, 2021 06:37:58   #
OnDSnap Loc: NE New Jersey
 
Delderby wrote:
If a seven year old was given this problem at school then the teacher should be fired. That is the only philosophy needed.


Why should a teacher be fired? It's a true of false question...not asking to solve for the Pythagorean theorem. By 7 yrs old they should know what a right angle is, so they should know the answer.

Feb 26, 2021 06:40:09   #
ELNikkor
 
False, it is a piece of purple watermelon, dummy!

Feb 26, 2021 06:54:32   #
randave2001 Loc: Richmond
 
The answer is true.
If one were to look at the figure it could be thought of as a big smile which is the right angle (a frown would be the wrong angle).
If one were to look at the figure as a bowl it is also sitting at the right angle. Any other angle would spill the contents.

Since the question does not specify that it is a math question, this answer could be argued as correct.

 
 
Feb 26, 2021 07:02:01   #
george19
 
The answer involves math beyond the ability of a seven year old to understand.

Yes, technically there are two right angles in the figure, but they are made by the instantaneous tangent at the intersections, developed from an infinitesimal delta there, i.e., calculus.

This question is inappropriate for even most high school students.

Feb 26, 2021 07:07:25   #
Longshadow Loc: Audubon, PA
 
OnDSnap wrote:
Why should a teacher be fired? It's a true of false question...not asking to solve for the Pythagorean theorem. By 7 yrs old they should know what a right angle is, so they should know the answer.


Feb 26, 2021 07:10:08   #
Longshadow Loc: Audubon, PA
 
george19 wrote:
The answer involves math beyond the ability of a seven year old to understand.

Yes, technically there are two right angles in the figure, but they are made by the instantaneous tangent at the intersections, developed from an infinitesimal delta there, i.e., calculus.

This question is inappropriate for even most high school students.

Inappropriate?
It's a thinking question...
(At what age can they think and reason? Sounds like a learning experience to me.)

Feb 26, 2021 08:18:10   #
Longshadow Loc: Audubon, PA
 
Delderby wrote:
If a seven year old was given this problem at school then the teacher should be fired. That is the only philosophy needed.

It's a thinking question...
(At what age can they think and reason? Sounds like a learning experience to me.)
Start them early at being able to analyze things and reason things out.
Fire the teacher? Really?
So much for challenging students.

 
 
Feb 26, 2021 08:21:10   #
jaymatt Loc: Alexandria, Indiana
 
It’s a good question, not a bad one.

Since there are no right angles with a curve, the answer is obviously false.

It is also pretty safe to assume that the subject has already been discussed in class. It’s basic math about shapes and figures, no philosophy involved whatsoever. Is it too tough for a seven-year-old to comprehend? Absolutely not. Firing the teacher is akin to further dumbing down education.

Feb 26, 2021 08:22:21   #
Longshadow Loc: Audubon, PA
 
jaymatt wrote:
...
...
Firing the teacher is akin to further dumbing down education.


Feb 26, 2021 09:35:15   #
Delderby Loc: Derby UK
 
jaymatt wrote:
It’s a good question, not a bad one.

Since there are no right angles with a curve, the answer is obviously false.

It is also pretty safe to assume that the subject has already been discussed in class. It’s basic math about shapes and figures, no philosophy involved whatsoever. Is it too tough for a seven-year-old to comprehend? Absolutely not. Firing the teacher is akin to further dumbing down education.


Safe to assume? I was taught (by an english teacher rather than a math teacher) that only asses assume!
I think that the seven year old's teacher is the dumb one - in presenting such a problem at that age. I see so much bad spelling on this site that perhaps more time should be spent on the three Rs at an early age.
Whilst I appreciate that education could be different in the UK, I was first introduced to Geometry, Algebra etc at the age of eleven.

Feb 26, 2021 09:45:49   #
Longshadow Loc: Audubon, PA
 
Delderby wrote:
Safe to assume? I was taught (by an english teacher rather than a math teacher) that only asses assume!
I think that the seven year old's teacher is the dumb one - in presenting such a problem at that age. I see so much bad spelling on this site that perhaps more time should be spent on the three Rs at an early age.
Whilst I appreciate that education could be different in the UK, I was first introduced to Geometry, Algebra etc at the age of eleven.
Safe to assume? I was taught (by an english teache... (show quote)

Some kids are capable of <learning> critical thinking at an early age.
Maybe the teacher was checking to see of there were any candidates for advanced placement.
But, we'll never know, will we.
Maybe part of the problem today is that most students are no longer challenged.

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