Maths - Maybe We Need a New Name For It

Tennis ball rolling and rotating with water

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Old certainties are being challenged.

Our knowledge is being constantly challenged. For anyone over 30 years of age school seems like a stroll through the Antiques Roadshow but without an inflated and much anticipated price tag.

Why do we cling to the past?

Almost every day we are bombarded by exhortations to change this, experience this brand-new product or transform our modus operandi. These are heady times. So why do we still cling on to antiquated subject divisions?

Maths is a part of almost everything we do. 

Anyone watching Wimbledon would have been fascinated by the top spin Nadal is able to generate at will. Andy Murray has a mean top spin too. Looking at the stats and how coaches’ Analysis can transform performance we are aware that numbers underpin I love of sports and entertainment in general.

Maths and me don’t get on

If you found the maths scholars website it’s more than likely and an algorithm has done the work to serve up your requests. So it’s quite depressing to hear young people say phrases such as:  I’m no good at maths or maths and me don’t get on all I’m just not in maths person. It’s almost like saying:  I refuse to read anything that passes in front of my eyes. But here we have it another academic year is all but over I’m still there are too many students who’s poor showing in maths tests just goes to under score their perceived inability to comprehend  mathematics.

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Mathematics is like oxygen. We need it to maintain our highly complex and technical lives. This is subject has never been more valuable in every respect. As we move into a world of Machine learning, And artificial intelligence and big data we will all be impacted my numbers. Therefore a cross curricular approach might well inspire passion and understanding regarding just how seminal mathematics is for all of us.

Do we also need a different type of maths teacher?

Should mathematics education be further transformed? Or is it something formal basic. Have we all being seduced into believing that some kids can just do maths with little effort? Do we need to work with parents to increase the exposure to maths from a very early age. Should we be teaching Number games and rhymes in parenting classes to stop the massive gap between children who start school with a modicum of Number exposure and those who have had nothing?

Success breeds success

Do we need to dispel the myth that you need to be a genius to do well in mathematics? Quite often success breeds success. We are unlikely to want to spend more time on the subject we perceived to be difficult. Genetic ability does not necessarily determine performance differences. Students need to realise that’s working hard and effectively turnaround will make a difference to mathematical understanding.

Should we be focusing on real maths? What are the solutions for mathematics education in the next decade? What are your suggestions?

Further reading

The myth of I’m bad at Maths

Ball trajectories

Maths In Real Life: Classroom Challenges STEM