Mathematics: Usually Your Greatest Enemy
Everyone knows how important Mathematics is. You use Math for practically anything, right? When you’re crossing the street, you’re calculating distances in your head (although only implicitly). When you’re out shopping, you’re making sure that your expenses don’t exceed your budget, and this act of making sure is possible only because you’re performing simple acts of addition and subtraction, and sometimes, the occassional multiplication. By performing these mathematical operations, you can pretty much come to the conclusion that math is as important to your everyday life as website visitors are to any tech blog. Math is extremely necessary
And yet, despite the obvious necessity of math, you still find yourself surrounded by people who would really love to live without it. You still find yourself hating math, finding it too difficult to manage with all its rules and conditions. At the end of the day, you realize that even if math is actually a very important field, many people would like to avoid it at all costs, giving you the impression that as a subject it is truly terrifying. But this raises the question: what is it exactly that makes math as terrifying as it is?
Top Reasons Why People Hate Math
One of the most popular reasons why people hate math is because there is an apparent lack of stimulation in the way that the subject is taught. Usually, when teachers teach math, there is this tendency to overemphasize the rules and formulae, thereby losing sight of the need to inspire students to become creative and innovative. Students end up being caught up in memorizing these rules instead of really arriving at solutions themselves. This lack of real stimulation causes people to say that math is too boring and difficult.
Another popular reason for people’s hatred of math is because usually, the student-teacher dynamic within and during a math class is full of too much tension and pressure. More often than not, teachers do not really bother to transform this tension and pressure into anything positive; thus, students end up associating the subject matter with the same difficulty that they felt with their teacher. As a result of this association, people grow up thinking that math is terrible, when in reality it was their relationship with their teachers that was terrible.
Here’s another popular reason for hating math: there’s the tendency that in the teaching of mathematics, the method employed will be too caught up in drill overkill. When this happens, teachers tend to repeat the same activities and exercises over and over again. With this repetition, students are often left uninspired and unable to see math from a richer and wider perspective. The repetition of the drills give the students the mistaken idea that math is just about repeated exercises that do not need imagination.
At the end of the day, it is not really math which students hate. It is often what they associate with math that makes it such a difficult subject to love. The key, then, is to let the students see the beauty of math, by showing them its many practical uses. (Kind of like how one can see the beauty of online shopping through the many promo codes that you can use.)
Francine Halloway is a Mathematician by profession. She has a PhD in Applied Mathematics and a Masters Degree in Teaching Mathematics. Despite the seemingly intimidating background, Francine believes that Math should never be intimidating. She has made it her personal mission to prove this, especially by writing articles on how to make Math more accessible.