This seems a fitting subject for All Hallows Eve. I ran across this picture: [Link]
yesterday and felt vaguely frustrated. Not the physics. It’s Abysmal and I may natter on that later, but what is frustrating is the maths.
I have run across several articles lately on this subject, starting with one [Link] entitled “Parents feel ‘unequipped’ to help children with maths” and ending with one [Link] entitled “Damaging maths mindset holding pupils back”. Both bemoan that maths are too difficult. What is frustrating is the moaning. We know that maths are difficult, even for those who have a talent for maths, which is a small fraction of the species. Why can we not acknowledge that and buckle down?
We seem to have two alternatives. One is to acknowledge that maths are difficult and only teach maths to those who have adequate talent, maybe 0.1 of the species. And damn the other 0.9 to a subordinate existence as perpetually ignorant serfs. The other is to acknowledge that maths are difficult and teach maths to everyone and they – parents and students in particular – cease complaining and work. Yes, we know it is hard. So is life and if you don’t want it to be hard crawl into a corner and discorporate.
But let us cease whining that maths are difficult and expect to be excused so we will quit whining. Parents need to quit telling their children that maths aren’t important and they won;t need algebra after high schule. The only thing that does is assure your children will only be Gammas. At best.
Telling children that maths are unimportant as a means of avoiding the difficult is destroying them and the species. Do you really want to be evil? Then do the hard thing and be a good parent. And if you can’t do the maths to help them then either learn some or hire a tutor or give the kids to someone who will.