May 27, 2024

Why Math?

Why Math?

      One of the most common questions students have is why they need to learn the things they are being asked to learn in math classes. I find that increasingly as students are struggling with math (as indicated by math scores), parents are more inclined to think that math is not as important as once believed and they just want their student to “get the credit.”

Math Is Everywhere

For most of history, the most important parts of education were reading, writing and arithmetic. Why is that? Reading and writing are tools for communicating using the language we speak and math opens the doors to everything else. Building, music and logic cannot be done without math. Math is everywhere and in everything, but many don’t realize it. In ancient times the mathematicians were actually philosophers who observed the world around them and they wanted to know why something behaved as it did. They noticed patterns that were not random and they wondered why.

Math uses a part of our brain that cannot be developed by reading or writing...

In this modern age we have been spoiled because we have vast knowledge at our fingertips and we have the ability to study anything we have a desire for. The beauty and importance of mathematics has in many ways been lost or at the very least, minimized! So again, why do we need math? There are so many reasons we need math, but the most basic is that math uses a part of our brain that cannot be developed by reading or writing. Our logic and critical thinking comes from the part of the brain that is used for solving problems and finding solutions. I once had a student ask me why she even needed this if she was going to be a psychologist. So I told her that the patients she would eventually see were going to depend on her for help and that would involve decisions that she would have to make based on information she gathered from her patients and that making good decisions need to be based in solid logic and reason. I told her math was going to help her develop those skills she would need. That made sense to her. There are many studies that have been done that demonstrate the benefits of studying math, but I don’t have the space to list it here. Mathematics is such a beautiful language and our brains CAN handle learning it. Sometimes, struggle is a good thing…..more on that next time!

Until next time, Alesia