Onmatu- General Math Learning Article
So I hear a lot as a math teacher the following question "Why should I learn something like this?" and especially from kids, but also from adults like college people and students sometimes. So I thought about it and I found a number of reasons which can be grouped in three categories: personal, practical and let's say patriotic reasons. So suppose you are a kid especially and you ask me why do you need to learn math, here is the answer you will get from me.
Let's discuss the personal reasons. Life is full of problems for everyone and you will get success in life if you know how to solve well and very well those problems. And when dealing with a math problem which you are trying to solve you will practice the process of problem solving by steps that apply to everyday situations: you need to clearly define the problem, you need to think of methods of solving it, then you need to implement the solutions you have found and after that getting and evaluating the results.
The better you are in doing this process the bigger the satisfaction and the reward you will gain from this.
Now you can consider math like a gym for your brain also like you can consider the real gym as a way to build up your endurance and strength to make the rest of your life easier and more enjoyable. Maybe you will never use the quadratic equation in your adult life, but the process of learning will increase a lot the power of your thinking. You need to practice a lot solving math problems and the way you will optimize your ability to make complex decisions down the road.
Let's talk about practical reasons and what it means for you to know the basic math. We can take in consideration an example from the real life as a reason for you to learn the basic math:“If your car has two gallons and a half of gas, and a distance forty miles to travel, will you make it?” What will happen if you don't know the answer to this question? You will get on a long walk home and a lot of wasted time. I've made a list with some other cases where making the wrong math could lead you to uncomfortable or even life-threatening consequences:
1) You and five work colleagues go out to lunch, and you need to divide the $145 bill. If you want to tip the waiter 20%, how much does each person owe?
2) John's Peanut Butter costs $3 per pound. I know that the store brand costs 23 cents per ounce. Which is a better deal for you in this case?
3) You want to get a 25-year, fixed mortgage for $150,000. Is it better to get one at 4.6% with no points, or at 4.3% with two points?
4) Let's say you want to paint for some reason four rooms, each measuring 15 feet by 13 feet. How many gallons of paint will you need for example?
5) Your child is ill and needs medication for fever at 5:00 in the morning. The package of medication says in the description to give three teaspoons to a seventy-pound child. If your child weighs 45 pounds, how much should he have?
This is a small number of practical reasons from the infinity list that we can find that makes you clear of why you should learn the basic math.
Regarding the patriotic reasons: we saw that the future of our economy depends a lot on how our children are getting a quality math education. Many students from US from what I know and from other statistics do not get good results in math exams and classes and they do not think at the option of studying mathematics besides the basic courses, which is very bad and this is a situation that presents big risks to our future technological and scientific society. And this is saying all about why you should struggle to learn at least the basic math if not getting deeper into the field, you might discover that the rewards are beyond expectations.