“When will I ever need to use maths in real life?”, “Why is maths important?”, “Why do we need mathematics?”
These questions have echoed through maths classrooms and homes the world over. Apart from allowing us to make calculations that help us in our everyday lives, such as making purchases or preparing a budget, it can offer students so much more. Maths can be found in everything from music, art, and architecture to cooking, sport, and nature: “God used beautiful mathematics in creating the world,” said Paul Dirac.
There is plenty of information online that will help to give more practical answers to these questions, however the real reasons why numeracy and learning mathematics is so important for your son comes down to less tangible benefits. Skills such as problem-solving, reasoning and fluency, form key pillars of the Australian Curriculum and are the foundation techniques gained through maths by recalling multiplication facts in Year 3, to expressing algebraic equations in Year 9, and deciphering complex calculus in senior years.
There is so much more that your child gains from maths than simply the ability to make calculations. Here are four reasons why it is important for your son to learn mathematics:
1. Students learn process and logical thinking skills
Maths teaches students that in order to achieve the right end result, the right steps need to be followed. On the surface, you wouldn’t immediately associate cooking with maths but they both follow the same logical processes. If you skip a step in maths because it is too hard, you will be unable to complete the more difficult equations, limiting yourself to the foundation steps. Similarly, if you are an aspiring chef, you will know the importance of using the right ingredients in the right quantities, and following the correct method to ensure the cake will rise or the jelly will set.
2. Maths forms the foundation of many great careers
Sociologist, Michael Handel profiled the United States job market in the 2000s and found that 94 percent of jobs required some form of maths; whether it be addition and subtraction, or equations in computing. In fact, career website, CareerCast.com found that the majority of the top 10 best jobs – ranked on a range of different factors including income, stress and work environment – called for maths skills. It is not just accountants and analysts, but fashion designers, sports scientists, architects and pilots that require or benefit highly from strong knowledge of mathematics.
3. Prepares for an uncertain job market
With the technology boom we are currently experiencing, the job landscape is evolving at a rapid rate. In the United States, the Occupational Outlook Handbook profiles the 20 occupations with the highest percent change of employment between 2016-2026. Other than observing that the renewable energy industry is booming, it is apparent that there is still a growing need for: statisticians, software developers, mathematicians and analysts. If your son is mathematically minded and enjoys the principles and processes taught during lessons, then opting to continue these studies could well equip him for the future.
4. Teaches the importance of persistence and discipline
In addition to process and logical thinking, maths also teaches emotional skills that are useful tools for a developing mind. Working through complicated algebra can be difficult and frustrating. However, when your son persists and eventually solves a problem, he experiences a sense of achievement and satisfaction, and learns that, often the key is not purely ability - it’s effort and perseverance.
Maths is so much more than algebra or equations, it teaches your son valuable lessons in reasoning and processing information that will equip him for all spheres of life. As James Joseph Sylvester said, “Mathematics is the music of reason.”
Trinity Grammar School encourages your son to realise his potential, pursue his passions and discover his purpose all within the context of a supportive Christian environment. We have guided boys to grow in mind, body and spirit for over a century and we know what boys need to truly flourish and succeed.
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