Why it is Important to Study Math in High School

As a high school Advanced Math & Calculus teacher I always her the question, ” What am I ever going to use this for?” This mentality is exactly what causes a large portion of students to stumble over. It creates a wall for them to hide behind. They think I don’t need to learn this because I will never use it. Well more and more professions are requiring a working knowledge of math. Any business course you take is going to require you to understand statistics. Psychology, education, marketing, etc also require you to understand statistics. Math is becoming more prevalent in our world. These majors are generally thought of as not needing math because they are not an applied math major. It’s not engineering. However, the big picture that people are missing is that math is not about being able to find the vertex of a parabola or evaluate a trig function. It’s about seeing patterns and learning from them. I tell my kids all the time that math is about patterns and thinking. In math class everything revolves around seeing what is happening and making decisions. The same thing that you do with stocks. You watch the stocks for a pattern and then make a decision. You plan a business and see what the pattern is in your area a learn from it to make your business better. As a parent you see patterns within your children and adjust. If you see that your child is always acting up after eating something with red dye then you make a decision that your child shouldn’t have it. Math is about critical thinking. Once you recognize a pattern you should be able to generalize it and make a pattern. No one intends for a student to know the quadratic formula fifteen years down the road, but the ability to think should still be there.