Purpose of Math Education: A Question to Think About

22 January 2015 By In Blog Mathematics
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What is the purpose of maths education? 

I think about this question quite frequently and my thoughts swing between two themes; maths education as a means to develop inquisitive humans, aware of the world, or maths education as a means to support the rigours of day-to-day living.

I went to the Sunday market – a regular event for me and my family. I saw a young boy, probably in the elementary grades in school, who was purchasing some vegetables. As I was waiting for my turn, I became interested in what he was buying. The shopkeeper asked for an amount of money from the boy which I immediately knew meant he was over-charging him. The boy paid the amount and left the shop. I followed him to have a chat. Initially I found him reluctant to talk. He was an eighth grader in a school with a good reputation. I needed to make him understand that he had been fooled by the shopkeeper, and I tried to convince him to go back and demand the return of the money which was paid extra. He responded, “Why should I talk to an illiterate person for a few rupees?”  

His comments made me wonder what our schools are producing. What is the purpose of maths education? Do think about this yourselves and help me to figure out this question with your comments.


Read 1075 times Last modified on Tuesday, 03 March 2015 11:46