Friday, August 27, 2004

pattern recognition or maths

Recently a friend says that his six year-old child knows the answer for 100+1, 100+2, 100+8, etc. but doesn't know the answer for 99+1. It seems that the child can recognize the pattern when a '1' follow by two '0's, a '+' symbol and a number of 1 or 2 digits, the answer can be formed by replacing 1 or 2 zeros from the right with the 1 or 2 digits on the right of the symbol '+'. Then, it became clear why he doesn't know the answer for 99+1 as this is a totally different pattern. This seems to be an unknown/unsolved problem for many students, who may score high grades for mathematics in tests and examinations by similar pattern recognition as above, without proper understanding of the mathematics concepts.

From my tutoring experiences, girls tend to use pattern recognitions more than guys. If this is not corrected, they will find mathematics very difficult by the time they reach secondary 2 when the patterns become much more complicated and thus requires many exceptions to their pattern recognition rules.

I am quite against the use of phrases based on pattern recognition, such as “canceled off the x in the numerator and denominator in a fraction” and “bring the x over to the right hand side”.

Thursday, August 19, 2004

Hidden conflict

Is conflict good? Surely not. Harmony is good. However, sometime it seems that conflict brings problems to the surface and thus can then be looked into and solved promptly. I suggest the term "visible conflict" for situation where the parties previously having "hidden conflict" express their views. In this sense, I would say "visible conflict" is better than "hidden conflict". "Hidden conflict" might be taken as "fake harmony", which should be sub-productive and potentially dangerous because the longer a conflict is hidden/suppressed, the more serious the situation will be when it becomes visible eventually.

By the same argument, to resolve conflict should mean to eliminate it and achieve harmony. However, many times we wrongly think that conflict has been resolved by hidding/suppressing it. For example, when two kids argue, the elder, by power and authority, instructs them to stop arguing. They might have no choice but to adhere to the elder and stop arguing. This situation is a state with "hidden conflict" or "fake harmony", while the conflict is not clearly unresolved but rather just being hidden or suppressed.

Friday, August 13, 2004

Living for the greater good

Should have know this phrase long time ago, but better late then never... The phrase is "Living for the greater good." Previously, "Living for the sake of others" are commonly used. I think 'the greater good' is so much better and more appropriate than 'the sake of others.' Most leaders do feel responsible for their followers and thus in a way, they are living for the sake of their followers. Then, if two such leaders or groups are in conflict, they might end up fighting and this is bad. Still, aren't they living for the sake of others? However, by the standard of 'living for the greater good,' then something bad like fighting shouldn't be resulted, since this is surely not for greater good. The greater can be the 2 groups together. May be, the 'others' need to be quantified as 'other at the same level'. Eg. as a leader, representing a group, 'others' will mean other groups, but not others in the same group. Still, "Living for the greater good" is much clearer.

Thursday, August 12, 2004

To begin is absolutely needed for success

Almost a month since the last entry... still nothing concrete in my thoughts to put here... So, just throw in some nice quotes that I had collected and been randomly SMSing on a daily basis... A few about starting/beginning: R u in earnest? Seize this moment! Boldness has genius/power/magic. Engage, mind grows heated. Begin, work will be completed. John Anster, Faust; If you could get up the courage to begin, you have the courage to succeed. David Viscott;
Winning starts with the beginning. Robert H. Schuller; Start by doing what's necessary, then what's possible, and suddenly you are doing the impossible. Francis of Assisi.
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