Chapter 8. Introducing Curriculum Learning

Think back to your first few days in school. What strange times they were…the teacher standing at the front of the class presenting you all with a quadratic equation and asking you to solve it.

“What is the value of x?” you find yourself being asked.

Confused, you have no idea what’s going on; it’s your first day, after all.

Still you take a guess: “Three.” The teacher stares at you before pronouncing you exceptionally wrong. You are sent home.

The next day this repeats. The teacher gives you another quadratic equation; you once again fail and are sent home. Day after day this happens: you show up and are given an equation, you take a guess, get it exceptionally wrong, and are then sent home.

One day you guess and the teacher says, “Wrong, but close.”

Finally, some progress.

You are still sent home.

The next day this repeats, and the next and the next, again and again. Each time you are guessing closer and closer. Each time you get sent home, and each time you show up the next day and guess again.

Finally you start to piece it together, you start to understand the individual parts that make up the equations, the way they interact, the way they influence the value of x. When asked, this time things are different. You respond, "x is -1 plus or minus root 2,” and you are confident in your answer. Your teacher slowly nods. “Correct.”

You’ve been at school now for 600 years, but you finally know how to solve a quadratic equation. You are sent ...

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