Customer Review

4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Repetitive, but with some astute observations, July 5, 2011
This review is from: Nerds: How Dorks, Dweebs, Techies, and Trekkies Can Save America and Why They Might Be Our Last Hope (Paperback)
The book is fairly preachy, which is annoying because the type of people likely to read it do not need the preaching. Also, a lot of it is stating the obvious. Hence 3 stars.

OTOH, I was struck by the observation that in order to find math and science attractive, a child must enjoy precision -- must receive real pleasure out of getting RIGHT answer, as opposed to "sort of right". Children who naturally enjoy precision are "geeks". Children who do not could probably learn it, but it should be taught at elementary school level, and elementary schools do not seem to be even aware there is a problem to be fixed.

But even if elementary schools were aware of the problem, how exactly do you instill a love of precision in someone who does not already have it? Doing math problems can make a child good at doing math problems, but will not make him like it -- and once he is in middle school and finds out that "math is uncool", he will start avoiding it. How do you teach a child to LIKE numbers and formulae?

One possible answer is make games such as Dungeons & Dragons, with their endless calculations and probabilities, a part of elementary school curricula. When precise answer gets you the dragon hoard, and "sort of right" answer gets your character fried, precision becomes fun.

Now wait for "Satanism in schools!" cries. One... two...
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Location: Framingham, MA United States

Top Reviewer Ranking: 1,059,813