- Sometimes people can recognize a time when their opinion of math dramatically changed either for the better or the worse. If such a time happened to you, tell us about it.
While I always had respect for the maths and the sciences it was not until recently that my opinions of math change. I have slowly begun to see the true value of math. As I researched what academics I wanted to teach I discovered some startling facts about the state of mathematics education in the US. For example, in 2015 the US rated 35th out of 71 developed countries in math literacy. This is simply unacceptable. In today’s global economy jobs which require higher levels of math competencies, such as computer programming, are becoming more prominent. These sorts of jobs are replacing the manufacturing jobs that once were prevalent in this country. The transition away from a manufacturing society has increased the value of a math education. Unfortunately, as the US falls behind, globally, in math education, we also start losing the ability to prosper, as a nation, in high demand fields. This realization served to highlight the importance of a math education to me.
Another reason why I have decided that math education is so important is that it teaches critical thought. Subjects such as history, English, physics are important, but teaching a child critical independent thought is even more valuable. A person can be taught the information required to do a job, but can they micromanage and solve problems without outside intervention on the job? The ability to be an independent thinker is critical to a successful career, in any profession, and, not so coincidentally, problem solving is an important aspect of math. The more I started to look at the state of education, and its direct effect on the US, the more I realized that the field of mathematics was more important today then ever.