There is something wrong with math education

Also published on Wordpress.

I don’t know exactly what’s wrong with it. But, there is definitely something wrong with it. I mean, if there isn’t any, why do many end up seeing math as a monstrous entity?

On the most basic level, mathematics is all about counting numbers. On a more advanced level, it is about solving problems, both practical and abstract, by the means of numbers. Overall, not only it is a harmless entity, it is something that clearly benefits mankind.

And yet, many of us compare math lessons to torture sessions.

While I don’t know the exact reason, I have a conjecture about this phenomenon:

Math lessons force us to think ‘robotically’… and I personally don’t have a problem with that. Human civilisations would not exist without systematic and precise thinking.

The problem is we are never taught about the beauty of mathematics. Not only we are barely taught about its practical benefits, we are also never told about how abstract math is, despite its infamous precision.

If I were aware of such paradox early on, I would have never perceived math as a tool to robotise mankind. I would have seen it as one of those refined lenses which enable humanity to discern the universe we live in.

Just like with natural sciences, I also used to love learning math, albeit because I had fun with basic arithmetic… and just like my love of natural sciences, my love of math started to dwindle thanks to formal education.

Pop science has shown me the abstract beauty of math. But, unlike in the case of natural sciences, I don’t think it will ever rekindle my love of math. Considering I now hate the act of counting numbers, there is almost no hope to revive the love.

No, it has nothing to do with me being in an inattentive student. Inattentiveness would simply make me forget what was taught in the class. But, it would never compel me to see the fucking entire discipline as a monster.

And those students who excel in math classes:

Many of them also happen to be straight A students whose idea of ‘education’ is the pursue of grades and job opportunities instead of knowledge. They will do anything to fulfil their worldly goals.

If you ask them what is the purpose of learning math, I doubt many would give answers other than ‘learning how to count’ or ‘making us (look) smart’.






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