Here are a few thoughts for the people who believe math has no use in real life and shouldn’t be taught so much in school.
Remember to make the minimum payment on your credit cards this month. I like to keep my dividends flowing.
When you look for a new vehicle, remember that leasing gets you the biggest truck for the payment you can afford.
When you look for a house, your bank will tell you the biggest mortgage they’ll let you have.
When you find a nice financial advisor in a good-looking suit, he probably won’t mention the 2.5% MERs you’ll be paying because 2.5% is a small number anyway.
If you make your own investment decisions, it’s much easier to just assume you’re doing better than average than it is to do some math to compare your results to benchmarks.
There is certainly room to improve the way we teach math in schools. Many math teachers aren’t very good at math themselves. The trouble is that people who can do math often have career options that pay better than teaching. Because we don’t pay a premium for math teachers, we’re left with too many math teachers with poor skills.
Another problem is that we try to teach the same level of math to almost all students. Mathematical ability in students varies wildly. What is boring for some is unfathomable for others. Effective tiering is needed. But we shouldn’t just stop teaching math to weaker math students at some young age. They should continue at least until the end of high school with each student at a level he or she can handle.
After learning to read and write effectively in your mother tongue, I place the importance of learning math ahead of all other subjects. Not everyone is cut out to study math at the highest levels, but all students should be taken as far as they can go up the ladder of math skills.