Is Math Worth the Sacrifice

By: mathcracker

For ages and ages, the question has been "Why do I necessity to learn mathematics? I'll never use it in the practical world. My desire is to be a fireman or a cowboy or a news reporter and they don't need to know how to do math. Today, with the advent of electronic devices and all sorts of electronic wonders which are carried by young children, it's a better question than ever before. Why should someone learn the formulas and memorize the times tables they learn in class Is there any point to the effort involved in memorization of formulas and procedures when you only need to punch in a symbol to receive a digital answer to what you asked?

The answer to this question has some complexity, which goes a bit further the evident. No one finds it entertaining to memorize facts; however starting with basics is the start of most fields of learning. It is possible that reversing the way facts are presented might do much toward helping students to comprehend why the study of math can be helpful.

Among the reasons why the study of math is necessary is that it creates the need for students to read and comprehend, which also encourages them to learn how to organize their rational-mental processes and to be able to see depth in more challenging problems. The best knowledge given by formulas cannot tell you how to use it. For that, it is necessary to be able to train your thinking to recognize the important elements of a situation and also to understand how to apply known facts or procedures in order to find the answer to the question. To be able to lay out the parameters of the math problem will help a student learn the same procedure for other fields of study as well.

In addition to learning how to organize your thinking due to math, you will need to understand how to apply formulas and procedures in order to come up with the answer to the questions. In other words, unless you really understand something about how math works, it won’t do any good to help with typing the numbers into the calculator. While the actual calculation performed by a calculator does greatly simplify even routine problem solving, to raise three generations of students with no understanding of how to use a calculator to establish which of two items in different sized containers costs more is a travesty of the concept of mathematics education. Many adults do not understand the concept of reconciling a bank statement, or calculating true cost of an adjustable rate mortgage.

This state of affairs in American education is difficult at best. Standardized tests put in evidence a dramatic fall in the math understanding of our students and the tendency doesn’t seem to get any signs of getting reverted in the short-run. Criticism of teachers for 'teaching to the test' has been widespread, but in the case of math, it is hard to see how logic and inductive reasoning which are required to solve most real life math problems can be considered teaching to the test.

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Robert is a member of MGT, a tutoring resource that delivers help with math homework online.

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