STEM Education vs STEAM: Understanding the Differences

July 12, 2023 By cleverkidsedu

Mathematics is a fundamental subject that plays a crucial role in our personal and professional lives. From solving everyday problems to making critical decisions in the workplace, math is an essential skill that we all need to acquire. However, there has been some debate around whether or not mathematics should be taught in schools. Some argue that it is too difficult and abstract for students to grasp, while others believe that it is a necessary subject for building critical thinking and problem-solving skills. In this discussion, we will explore the pros and cons of teaching mathematics in schools.

The Importance of Mathematics

Mathematics is a crucial subject that is taught in schools all around the world. It is an essential tool that helps students understand the world around them and solve problems. Mathematics is also a fundamental subject that is required for many careers, such as engineering, science, and finance.

Understanding Mathematical Concepts

Mathematics is not just about memorizing formulas and equations. It is about understanding the concepts behind them. When students understand the concepts, they can apply them to real-life situations and solve problems. For instance, understanding the concept of multiplication allows students to solve problems related to scaling, ratios, and percentages.

Developing Critical Thinking Skills

Mathematics also helps students develop critical thinking skills. It requires students to analyze problems, break them down into smaller parts, and find solutions. Critical thinking skills are essential in all aspects of life, not just in mathematics. They help students make informed decisions and solve problems effectively.

Misconceptions About Mathematics

Despite its importance, some students view mathematics as a difficult and boring subject. As a result, they may avoid studying it or develop negative attitudes towards it.

Key takeaway: Mathematics is an important subject that helps students understand the world around them, develop critical thinking skills, and prepare for many careers. Misconceptions about mathematics being difficult or boring can be overcome by making it engaging and relevant through fun activities and real-life examples. Students who struggle with mathematics should be provided with additional support and encouraged to collaborate with others. It is important to emphasize the practical applications of mathematics to help students see its significance.

Mathematics is Difficult

One of the most common misconceptions about mathematics is that it is a difficult subject. Some students may struggle with math because they find it challenging to understand the concepts or have difficulty memorizing formulas and equations. However, with practice and the right mindset, anyone can become proficient in mathematics.

Mathematics is Boring

Another misconception about mathematics is that it is a boring subject. Some students may find it dull because they do not see the relevance of mathematical concepts to their everyday lives. However, mathematics is used in many aspects of daily life, such as calculating budgets, cooking, and shopping. By showing students the practical applications of mathematics, they may develop a greater interest in the subject.

Teaching Mathematics

To teach mathematics effectively, educators must approach it in an engaging and relevant way.

Making Mathematics Fun

One way to make mathematics more engaging is by making it fun. Teachers can use games, puzzles, and hands-on activities to teach mathematical concepts. These activities make learning more interactive and help students retain the information better.

Linking Mathematics to Real-Life Situations

Another way to make mathematics more relevant is by linking it to real-life situations. Students are more likely to be interested in mathematics if they can see how it applies to their daily lives. For example, teachers can use examples from cooking, sports, and shopping to teach mathematical concepts.

Providing Support for Struggling Students

Students who struggle with mathematics may benefit from additional support. Teachers can provide one-on-one support or small group instruction to help students understand mathematical concepts. Additionally, educators can use technology, such as educational apps and online resources, to provide students with additional practice and support.

Emphasizing the Importance of Mathematics

It is essential to emphasize to students the importance of mathematics. Students may not understand the significance of mathematics, especially if they do not plan to pursue a career that requires it. However, mathematical concepts are used in many aspects of daily life, such as budgeting, cooking, and shopping. By showing students the practical applications of mathematics, they may develop a greater appreciation for the subject.

Encouraging Collaboration

Collaboration is an essential component of learning mathematics. Students can work together to solve problems, share ideas, and provide support. Additionally, group activities and projects can help students develop teamwork skills, which are essential in many careers.

FAQs – Should mathematics be taught in school?

Why should mathematics be taught in school?

Mathematics is a fundamental subject that teaches problem-solving, critical thinking, and logic. It plays a vital role in our daily lives, from calculating bills at the grocery store to managing finances and budgeting. Additionally, it is a prerequisite for many careers such as engineering, science, and technology. Therefore, it is crucial to teach mathematics in schools to ensure that students develop necessary life skills and are prepared for future career paths.

At what age should students start learning mathematics?

Children as young as three years old can learn basic mathematical concepts through play. However, formal instruction in mathematics usually begins in preschool or kindergarten and continues throughout their education. Early exposure to mathematics has cognitive and academic benefits, enhances problem-solving skills, and promotes overall learning development.

Are there any disadvantages to teaching mathematics in schools?

While there are no significant disadvantages to learning mathematics in school, some students may struggle with the subject. Mathematics can be challenging, and some students may require additional support or alternative learning approaches. However, with the right teaching techniques and resources, educators can help all students excel at mathematics.

Can’t students just learn mathematics online, or through apps?

While there are many online resources and math-related apps available, these should supplement, not replace, the traditional classroom instruction. The classroom provides a social environment where students can engage in collaborative learning, ask questions and receive immediate feedback from their teacher. Additionally, classroom instruction can cater to all learning styles, including the kinaesthetic and auditory styles, which may be more challenging to address through online learning alone.

Is mathematics necessary for careers outside of science, engineering, and technology?

Yes, mathematics plays a critical role in various careers that do not require a technical background, such as finance, business, health, and social sciences. Mathematics skills enable professionals to understand economic trends, interpret data, make informed decisions, and solve problems accurately and efficiently. As such, learning mathematics is essential for students, no matter their career choice.