# Don’t Take My Word For It

Although it may be hard to believe, I am not the sole person who sees value in studying math. Before we begin with my thoughts, it might be helpful to see what others have to say.

5 Reasons Why You Should Study Mathematics – This article from The Complete University Guide talks about why you should pursue mathematics as your main focus of study. While that isn’t the main focus of this blog, it brings up some good points for how mathematics can make you more marketable.

10 Reasons You Should Study Math – In this six minute video, Danny Doucette argues for why math should be studied and touches on things such as the transferability of skills, the nature of developing industries, and the responsibilities of citizens, among others.

The importance of maths in everyday life – The author of this article from the Times of India is a math teacher. Not only do they give great reasons to study math, they also give great advice in how to teach it, especially for younger students.

Why Do We Learn Math – While the entire series of articles this is a part of is fantastic, this most directly addresses our topic at hand by taking the statement, “Math makes you think,” and explaining one way it actually does that.

6 Everyday Examples of Math in the Real World – Are you curious how math is used at home? This article focuses on math outside of a potential workplace to how it might benefit you more generally.

Examining How Mathematics is Used in the Workplace – This article seeks to examine a few studies on how math is used in workplaces from automobile production to nursing. Published by the Mathematical Association of America, it is a dense but interesting read.

Table of Examples – Tired of articles and just want to look up an example for your chosen career? Then this page is for you. Published by the Math Department at British Columbia Institute of Technology, it provides examples of problems that might be seen in various fields.

## 4 thoughts on “Don’t Take My Word For It”

1. Great take on a topic that many of us consider once in a while. It’s still hard to convince me that the Trigonometry I studied (or Calculus) has any bearing on my current life. This list really puts things into perspective. I especially liked Danny’s video!

Thanks! ~Todd

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2. Hi Garin! I really agree with you; I think that math is hugely important and has great value. However, I think there are better ways to teach math so that students can see that value. I am a science teacher, and I look at math as a tool to explain the universe. I mean, calc was invented for physics! Yet I was never taught to think of math as a tool or a means to get something done, like I was taught with tech-ed. I think math curricula could benefit from trying to be more application based (ex: calculating volume of a home to determine how much heat it will use). I also think that the US’s math focus is on algebra-based math, while other (and arguably better performing) countries have a strong emphasis in statistics. As an adult, I with I would have had to take more statistics classes and less algebraic classes.
Thanks for sharing!

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• I actually made something similar to this (algebra vs statistics) my discussion post yesterday, so it’s funny that we had a similar thought there. I still feel that algebra is a very valuable topic to learn, but I definitely see the arguments for possibly trading some algebra for some statistics.

I also agree with you that math education can focus more on application. My bachelors is in engineering, so having taken many math and science classes, most math doesn’t make a ton of sense until after you have a use attached to it. I think it’s important to realize that math is a language, and a language is only as good as the stories you use it to tell. However, using a Faulkner novel to teach ESL would be more a frustration than a benefit. Similarly, we teach people the language of math before teaching them some of the advanced applications. It’s important to strike that balance between giving the math something tangible to serve as a foundation for a new mental schema and using examples that accidentally push students out of their zone of proximal development.

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