We all remember those dreaded word problems in our early education. Designed to demonstrate how the mathematical operations being learned are applicable in day-to-day life, word problems force students to process some information and figure out values. For young students, this usually comes in the form of good ‘ole apples and oranges questions and other such friendly propositions. Not so in Gwinnett County, Georgia. Kids here get a little extra education on the side with their word problems.
When Christopher Braxton’s 8-year-old came home from elementary school, he, like plenty of kids his age, showed Daddy what he did at school today and some questions he had to complete before school the next day for homework. To Braxton’s surprise, the questions did use the typical fruit for fodder, but they also included another element: slavery.
“”Each tree had 56 oranges. If eight slaves pick them equally, then how much would each slave pick?”
Just a little simple division practice, right? As a follow-up, one of the slaves in question got a name:
“If Frederick got two beatings per day, how many beatings did he get in one week?”
Now, you might think this is an unusual educational tactic, but don’t worry. “In this one, the teachers were trying to do a cross-curricular activity,” Gwinnett County school district spokeswoman Sloan Roach said. That’s right. Combining mathematics with a little history.
We at Common Sense Conspiracy have a suggestion for a new question on the next round of homework.
“If there is one teacher that sends elementary school kids home with racist math questions on their homework and he gets fired, how many racist teachers are left?”
Unfortunately, the jury is still out on what will be the answer to that one.