Monday, May 9, 2011

Relevance

My math teacher is known for her annoying tests. What she usually does is that she takes a normal test and add extra components to it to make "more fun and more challenging." However, none of these extra things are relevant to the subject and they just make the test super long and difficult to be finished in time. For example, during a unit in which we needed to use the formula of a circle, all the questions were supposed to be somewhat easy because they were all quite simple and straight-forward, and involved at most three steps. However, my math teacher had to turn almost half of the questions into questions that asked for the equations of the incircles of triangles, and this made the test extremely long because the questions became ten-step questions, with every step being quite long. Doing one such question would have had taken about 11 minutes (and that's if you wasted absolutely no time), and imagine doing five of these questions plus five other questions in 75 minutes!

There was a better example in grade nine. During one unit where we were supposed to find the volumes of various shapes, my math teacher made all the measures into variables, and in order to to obtain the measures, we would have had to solve systems of equations first. This made our test very, very long as another "solving systems of equations test" could actually have been made just from the first steps of the questions.

I really wonder if my math teacher understands what's important or not, as all these extra stuff that she adds onto our tests are pretty irrelevant to what we are learning. By adding all these stuff, not only does she makes our lives a lot harder, she is also diverting the focus of our learnings. I just don't get it. What's the point?