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Apr 6 '14 at 13:31 comment added user173 @Shay: I rest my case.
Apr 5 '14 at 20:12 comment added Shay @MattF. So there's one example of one thing from school that people in your exact job will frequently use. How frequently do you use the fact that Columbus sailed in 1492? Or that $\sin(\pi/6)=\sqrt{3}/2$? Most facts that we teach people are mostly useless most of the time. This doesn't mean education is a waste, but rather that an overemphasis on filling brains with facts is demonstrative of a simple misunderstanding of the purpose of education.
Apr 4 '14 at 19:50 comment added user173 @Shay, I work in finance. I look for real-valued roots all the time, sometimes when computing IRRs, sometimes when tweaking parameters of investments to get a desired result.
Apr 4 '14 at 4:37 comment added Shay The idea that the goal of education is to make one better prepared for "the real world" (whatever that is) is simply ludicrous. Think for yourself about how often you use anything you ever learned in school (outside of the occasions when you are teaching others those exact concepts). The goal of an education is not to teach practical things, but to exercise and further develop one's ability to think.
Mar 31 '14 at 11:08 comment added user173 @BenjaminDickman, you understand me well. I think it makes sense for high school students to study a bit of Shakespeare: a couple sonnets, a scene or two, maybe a film adaptation, enough to get the cultural reference. But asking them to study the text of a whole five acts requires more struggle with archaic language and monarchical concerns than I think worthwhile. There's plenty of literature to teach from the past century.
Mar 30 '14 at 20:41 comment added Benjamin Dickman I somewhat object to your first paragraph, which is the justification for your answer of No, and point to the classic argument of saying "high-school English classes ought to give students the writing skills that are useful in non-academic (real-world, etc) contexts, and studying Shakespeare would detract from that goal."
Mar 30 '14 at 17:22 comment added paul garrett (1) Dependence of graphs on parameters is a considerably more sophisticated issue than the "arithmetic" of factoring. (2) Such "arithmetic" has many practical applications (crypto, coding) as well as reappearing in more sophisticated mathematics.
Mar 30 '14 at 15:36 comment added Jim Belk I agree. Though factoring is helpful for getting students to understand algebra better, it's not really an end unto itself, and there's little point in introducing special tricks to make factoring of quadratics slightly easier.
Mar 30 '14 at 14:34 history answered user173 CC BY-SA 3.0