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In the discussion thread: Big Mac says get another job [View all]

Response to NYC_SKP (Reply #1)

Sat Jul 27, 2013, 11:34 AM

3. It's a sample not a model.

And this entire debate was silly from the first time it was brought up.

I've come to the conclusion that up front the producers should have made clear that the work wasn't going to be turned in for credit and that each numbers would be different, and even each person's budget categories would be different. I'd have found this insulting, but apparently a lot of people really need to be told this because it's just not that obvious.

In school we were shown process skills and, as examples, given sample problems. Few kids are confused enough when given their own problems to say, "But the numbers here are different from the sample."

Many have problems when they have to take a general skill--"solving for x in 3x^2 = y"--and apply it to different letters ("But Mr. Igel, there's no x in 4.6t^2 = d!" "You solve for t." "They never showed me how to solve for t. Just for x." "Here, Mehitabel. Just replace t by x. 4.6x^2 = d." "You can do that?" "Yes, Mehitabel, you can do that." "Oh, that's a lot easier. I can do that!" :facepalm

Being able to generalize is a really, really important skill. It's one that doesn't often show up on written education standards.

The McDonald's budget is similar to the kinds of budgets I've seen kids in life-skills classes working on--they live at home, and when they graduate high school typically stay at home but sometimes have two jobs. Most of the McDonalds workers where my kid went to get his crappy meals were in high school or recent graduates and not from the most high-income families. Then you could tell the poor kids from the kids who weren't by the budget categories they added. "Help with mortgage" versus "saving for trip to France".

I suspect part of this is also a "don't blame the poor" strategy. If the poor can be made better off by budgeting, then the employers are somewhat less on the hook to raise wages. Everybody can be made better off by budgeting, except possibly vendors that rely on impulse buys. However, if it's pointed out, then they're, in some small way, responsible for doing more.

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Arrow 4 replies Author Time Post
MindMover Jul 2013 OP
NYC_SKP Jul 2013 #1
LineLineNew Reply It's a sample not a model.
Igel Jul 2013 #3
NYC_SKP Jul 2013 #4
davidn3600 Jul 2013 #2
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