When I was a kid, word problems were pretty straight forward critical thinking mathematical tasks. You know, something like If 8 workers can build a fence in 6 hours, how many workers would it have taken to do it in 2 hours? I guess there are also word problems that help to develop critical thinking skills. If you are a student in one Arizona teacher’s class, word problems also exist to plant seeds of doubt, confusion, and sexist stereotypes about infidelity. Fun!
Parents were outraged when they saw a series of questions that focused on infidelity on their child’s homework. The word problem in question focused on what a wife who found another woman’s hair clip under her bed with hair that was not hers in it should do. Um, what? Doesn’t this woman have any girlfriends to talk to? Evidently not, because she seems to be asking for relationship advice about her cheating husband from a bunch of fourth graders. That’s stable.
Maybe she actually was trying to see how they would use critical thinking to handle the situation. Would they over-react? Would they hide the hair clip? Would they confront their “husbands?” I’m reaching for some reasoning that would explain this type of question being posed to a fourth grader, but honestly I just can’t wrap my head around it. I also hate the blatantly sexist implication that men cheat and women are left scrambling – trying to figure out what to do. This whole situation is nonsense.
‘I was a little shocked to see it on my homework,’ student Kyera McCloskey told ABC15.
To complete her assignment, Kyera responded that the husband in question No 3 had cheated and was in big trouble.
The teacher at Playa Del Rey Elementary School in Gilbert explained to concerned parents in an email that she had failed to carefully look through the questions
At best this is inappropriate. At worst – this teacher isn’t exhibiting the good judgement of someone that should be in charge of molding young minds. It’s a totally stupid question and I can’t believe this woman thought it was a good one to pose to any students – let alone fourth graders.