Students who add and multiply with the numbers in the ‘wrong’ order are getting their answers marked as incorrect? Japanese net users weigh in.

If you’re an educator or the parent of a school-aged child, at some point or other you’ve probably run into a situation which made you think, “Why the heck does it have to be taught this way when another way makes just as much, if not more, sense?”

Take mathematics education in the United States, for example. The past few years have seen a number of changes in U.S. states adopting a standardized set of “Common Core State Standards” which not only specify what a student should be able to do by the end of a grade level, but often also specify exactly how a student should be taught that information. While there are a number of proponents for a national set of standardized educational guidelines, there seem to be an increasing number of dissenting opinions from those teachers, parents, and students who are saying that there’s no more freedom in education.

It seems a similar issue has also come to light among Japanese citizens, as we recently stumbled across a series of online posts debating the practicality of marking basic addition and subtraction problems as wrong if they’re not performed in a very specific way.

Below, we’ve highlighted some of the most significant posts in the series:

“Here’s an example of getting an addition/multiplication question wrong because of simply writing the numbers in the ‘wrong’ order. This student wrote ‘9 + 5’ but the teacher marked it as incorrect because there were originally five cars and an additional nine came after that, so the correct answer should be ‘5 + 9.’ I don’t agree with that at all, but I suppose it’s futile to complain.”

@nihonnouen: “There must be a regulation among teachers to teach it like this. For example, even if the teachers themselves don’t want to teach math using that method, they’re forced to teach it in a certain way due national curriculum guidelines, and they can’t do anything if students complain. It’s really unfortunate.”

@sekibunnteisuu [reply]: “It’s not like there’s a specific clause in the Japanese national curriculum that says ‘You need to teach it this way.’ However, that’s not to say that teachers have complete individual freedom in what they teach; powerful figures in the world of math education often endorse ridiculous methods of teaching.”

“This was the procedure of doing addition that was taught in an elementary first-year school textbook published by the government.

Picture: Please match the blue dot of each equation to the corresponding red dot of each picture.

Problem [fill in the blank]: ‘There are five children, then three more join them. There are now eight children (___).’

My daughter wrote ‘in total,’ but it was marked as wrong. Apparently the correct answer was ‘altogether.'”

(Translator’s note: The student wrote awasete in Japanese, but the correct answer was deemed to be zenbu de. Like the English terms “in total” and “altogether,” technically either of these answers could go in the blank, but only one of them was considered to be the “proper” answer.)

In response to the above scenarios, Japanese net users responded with either shrugs or incredulity:

“Eh, this sort of thing has been going on for the past 15 years.”

“Um, that shouldn’t be a mistake…right?”

“Who’s the idiot who decided this?”

“I don’t get what’s so wrong about what this teacher is doing. ”

“This is why kids come to hate studying.”

Have you encountered a similar situation in the educational system where you live? Let us know in the comments section below!

Source: My Game News Flash
Featured image: Twitter/@sekibunnteisuu