The Evolution of Teaching Math How a math problem changed its look ...
Up to the 1960's A peasant sells a bag of potatoes for $10. In the early 1970's A farmer sells a bag of potatoes for $10. 1970's (new math) A farmer exchanges a set P of potatoes with a set M of
money. 1980's A farmer sells a bag of potatoes for $10. 1990's A farmer sells a bag of potatoes for $10.00.

From the Feb. '96 Reader's Digest:
1960s arithmetic test: "A logger cuts and sells a truckload of lumber for $100. His cost of production is fourfifths of that amount. What is his profit?"
'70s newmath test: "A logger exchanges a set (L) of lumber for a set (M) of money. The cardinality of Set M is 100. The set C of production costs contains 20 fewer points. What is the cardinality of Set P of profits?"
'80s "dumbeddown" version: "A logger cuts and sells a truckload of lumber for $100. Her cost is $80, her profit is $20. Find and circle the number 20."
'90s version: "An unenlightened logger cuts down a beautiful stand of 100 trees in order to make a $20 profit. Write an essay explaining how you feel about this as a way to make money. Topic for discussion: How did the forest birds and squirrels feel?"

From issue #91 of Recreational & Educational Computing
Teaching Math in 1996 By laying off 40% of its loggers, a company improves its stock price from $80 to $100. How much capital gain per share does the CEO make by exercising his options at $80? Assume capital gains are no longer taxed, because this encourages investment.
Teaching Math in 1997 A company "outsources" all of its loggers. The firm saves on benefits, and when demand for its products is down, the logging work force can easily be cut back. The average logger employed by the company earned $50,000, had three weeks vacation, a nice retirement plan and medical insurance. The contracted logger charges $30 per hour. Was outsourcing a good move?
Teaching Math in 1998 A laidoff logger with four kids at home and a ridiculous alimony from his first failed marriage comes into the logging company corporate offices and goes postal, mowing down 16 executives and a couple of secretaries, and gets lucky when he nails a politician on the premises collecting his kickback. Was outsourcing the loggers a good move for the company?
Teaching Math in 1999 A laidoff logger serving time in Folsom Prison for blowing away several people is being trained as a COBOL Programmer in order to work on Y2K projects. What is the probability that the automatic cell doors will open on their own as of 00:01, 01/01/00?

From John Funk and his daughter
Teaching Math in 1950:
Teaching Math in 1960:
Teaching Math in 1970:
Teaching Math in 1980:
Teaching Math in 1990:
Teaching Math in 2000:
Teaching Math in 2010 (in California):

Handley Math Humor Page 

Handley Math Home Page 
