You probably have already noticed that mathematical models provide a framework for logical thinking. A UB Graduate School of Education study published in the journal Social Forces says so, too.
An article on Science Daily, July, 22, 2010, notes that this was the first international study about family conversations in this regard. Talking about societal issues, the study author, Ming Ming Chiu, said, can show students that math has value in observing the real world.
He is a professor of learning and instruction. In looking at data from the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, he found that for 58% of kids in 41 countries, families converse about current events and societal issues less than once a month. This is true across economic lines and family composition: those from richer families or two-parent families did not have more than others. But they make a bigger difference in richer countries when they do occur.
The questionnaires from 15-year olds from 41 countries included over 3800 from the United States. About 110,000 questionnaires were collected in total. Chiu found it significant that in affluent countries where students have technological tools to use, they don’t necessarily spend much quality time conversing with their families about their world.
Chiu recommends variations on the following:
- Talk with your kids about current events and society.
- Use computation to help them understand, for instance, oil spills, or how many gallons of water a swimming pool takes.
- Ask kids how they would solve everyday problems that impact the community.
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