In this site I offer you my view on some problems I find fundamental for the personal development and happiness. That is precisely why I can't pretend I don't see a problem that I personally find extremely worrying. The attitude of people towards science! So instead of just burry the problems and wait for time to heal the wounds, let's try to discuss the importance of science to our life...
- Of the total weighted sample of this national survey, 79 percent of the mathematics teachers surveyed believe that there has been a decline in the mathematics skills of high school students. The most frequently mentioned reasons for the decline are presented, along with suggestions for improving student performance. (IRT) (source)
- New Study Finds That Math Items on the Nation's Benchmark Exam Are Too Easy, Don't Adequately Assess Skills Eighth Graders Asked to Solve Problems Using First Grade Arithmetic
- Report from Brown Center on Education Policy Also Finds Too Many Middle School Math Teachers Lack Sufficient Formal Training in Mathematics .Report Also Includes a Follow-Up Study That Finds Far Fewer Failing Schools Receive Blue Ribbon Schools Award (source)
- Kids just don't like maths. Their teachers fail to spark the interest, their parents lack time and desire to work with them and often they feel exactly the same way.
- Although kids get smarter and math becomes too easy for them, the overall level of understanding of math falls! Why? Because more and more students and teachers are simply not interested!
Now, reading "nation's" you might consider this is a problem only in USA. Well, wrong! This happens everywhere. People simply don't want to bother to study sciences!
But let's go back to the beginning. Here's my essays on the importance of science.
Ok, why then math and sciences are important?
They may look irrelevant and boring and such a pain, but in the end it all comes back to them. Why?
Once upon the time we were nothing than mammals. Even in creationist's scenario, we were close to it. Our society was higly defensive and agressive, our life was hard, our food was running in the woods or dying in the floods, our life didn't cost a thing. The nature was a mystery- the dark forces ruled on the Earth and their summoners ruled the hearths and the minds of man-kind.
What changed that world and made it the way we see it today was the human curiosity and hunt for knowledge.
First there were the stars. The human looked up and saw the gods, the constellations, the secret stories of creation. Then he noticed they obey certain laws and started examining them. That made sense as those laws repeated for years, decades and centuries. The man thought and decided Nature obeys laws. Then he started looking for them around him, in the closer world- and he found them. So many, so new, so interesting. His curiosity grew stronger and he kept on looking and fighting for the knowledge until the little pieces started fitting together in Marvelous Picture. The picture of Reality.
In the mean time, another skill gained strength- mathematics. History of math can be found on the net, so i won't talk about that. The more important thing is why we had to have it. Some think Math is science-it is not. Mathematics is nothing but a Language. A language to describe natural laws in quantity. Math is the language of our thoughts. It gave the ancient scientists the possibility to look for relations, to measure differences and to translate truth in thousand languages, in different times.
Science and math together are the manifestation of human mind. They are the children of our desire to know. They are the parents of our desire to understand. They are the tools to make our world better.
What should that mean to a kid who can't solve a simple math problem? Everything!
Math is what teaches our mind to think. It disciplines it in a way that it will be always reliable and obedient. The problems are the challenges that makes us think. And thinking is what makes us human.
Why math is important? Because it's the best tool to develop our skills. Mathematics and science are the real bridge between now and the time that passed. They are our link to all those ancient men and women that helped our civilisation becomes what it is now. For good or for bad.
So, boys and girls, kids and parents, please, stop for a moment and imagine the flow of time over the years, all the new things we found out, all the new skills we acquired. See the anient evening, warm on the fire, cold and scary on the outside of the fragile house, the flames dying out, the cold coming closer and the comfortable house with fireplace and ultra-modern notebook on your lap. How that tastes? Can you feel the difference? Well, all that difference comes from the science and math. If then, people felt math and science are nothing than a pain in the ass, now we would live still in huts. So think again before saying math is boring and unworthy!
Getting back to our time, what does math and science give us so that we spend some time on it?
To say it simple- again, everything!!! Think of the computer- what it is? It's based on calculations. Yes, it is. Remember the 0s and 1s. That's your computer. The software- what is the software before compiling it- a program based on logic and assigning values to variables. Yes, you can work with a pc very well, without having a clue how it works, but this is just an example. We live in the age of information. If you don't know how to deal with it, you're lost. And the best way to learn to work with it is to teach your brain to think the way the PC think. And that will be mathematics.
More, every single activity in human life, especially these that are supposed to earn profit, require discipline and logic. Whatever you might want to master, whatever you want to work, you'll need those two skills! The best way to master them is what? Correct! Math and science!
I hope I made you reconsider your position on science or begin loving it even more, as I do. Analytical thinking is a gift to our existance, let's not waste it, because of bad commercial.