MemberJune 1, 2019 at 3:18 am
Reading your responses I’m reminded of this quote: “Mathematics is the language in which God has written the universe”
So your answer to “Why should we teach math in 2019?” is it teaches students how to see and utilize patterns, and it teaches students how to model, am I understanding correctly? I agree that his is part of the answer.
As I’ve been thinking about this, I think I’ve got two reasons. This first is as follows: If the purpose of school is to prepare students for the future, and we don’t really know what the future is going to hold for out students, then we need to make sure they learn skills that will be valued and sought after as society becomes more technical. These are skills like modeling, pattern recognition, critical thinking, logic, and deductive and inductive reasoning. Also, these happen to be great life skills that help them in areas outside their profession. Our mission is to teach the students these skills, because math is unique in how many of these areas it hits requires.
That is the more “Pure Reason” the reason, however, the fact of the matter is simply that the more math you know, the more more doors are opened for you in life. If you can’t get past algebra, your probably in manual labor or some areas of the service industry. Although, many of those jobs make more than “higher” level jobs and can be very fulfilling in themselves. Get through Stat’s and that’ll get you through most non-stem degrees at college, and higher blue collar jobs, like electricians (which make as much as I do as a starting teacher, but didn’t need years of school to get there.) To be successful in life, student will most likely need to know math up to calc or stats. Feels a bit like a ponzi scheme, i.e. I’m going to teach you this and you need to learn in because in the future someone else is going to teach more math that you will have to learn because someone, somewhere said you have to.
So, in conclusion, I guess, we should teach math because it is able to deliver on so many of the 21st century skills, especially when it is taught through a student centered pedagogy. We also teach math because the math itself unlocks doors in the the student’s future.