- #1

- 1,250

- 2

## Main Question or Discussion Point

The problems with mathematics education cannot be fixed untill the general public stops using these terms synonymously. Today the news (Good Morning America - ABC) reported an autistic savant who, although he is mentally disabled in many ways, could "solve complex mathematics". I was very interested untill I saw that "solving complex mathematics" meant to this network news outlet "multiplying large numbers mentally"!

Mathematics is the science of theorems. It is true that some theorems pertain to arithmetic, but this does not mean that arithmetic (the basics of which everyone agrees that everyone should learn) should be considered as part of mathematics any more so then writing is considered part of mathematics.

Arithmetic (including U.S pre-algebra) should be made its own subject, beginning and ending in elementary school, with no mention of mathematics being made (since the students are not doing any).

Synthetic and Analytic geometry, trigonometry and general precalculus should all be put under the heading "Computer Science", since that is exactly where the domain of application for these things begins and ends. By getting students to write a program to draw a circle we address their lack of motivation and sense of perceived uselessness of the material.

Calculus belongs to Physics, these subjects should be studied together as old classics for the same reason that literature is studied.

English should be correctly labeled "Literature and Creative Fiction", and rhetoric (as a means of persuasion) should be ridiculed.

All mention of critical thinking, expository writing (clarity of communication) and reasoning(logic) belongs to mathematics. Mathematical Calculation should take on the generalized meaning of writing out ideas clearly and carefully so as to infer conclusions.

In my opinion these things have not happened because:

1) The English department has too much power, and they don't want to lose their monopoly on "writing" (which belongs to math at least as much as does arithmetic).

2) The computer science department enjoys not being associated with algebra/precalculus, because they receive more funding and more students. Very few freshmen going into computer science realize they will be doing more of what they think of as math (precalculus) then will be the freshmen going in to mathematics.

Mathematics is the science of theorems. It is true that some theorems pertain to arithmetic, but this does not mean that arithmetic (the basics of which everyone agrees that everyone should learn) should be considered as part of mathematics any more so then writing is considered part of mathematics.

Arithmetic (including U.S pre-algebra) should be made its own subject, beginning and ending in elementary school, with no mention of mathematics being made (since the students are not doing any).

Synthetic and Analytic geometry, trigonometry and general precalculus should all be put under the heading "Computer Science", since that is exactly where the domain of application for these things begins and ends. By getting students to write a program to draw a circle we address their lack of motivation and sense of perceived uselessness of the material.

Calculus belongs to Physics, these subjects should be studied together as old classics for the same reason that literature is studied.

English should be correctly labeled "Literature and Creative Fiction", and rhetoric (as a means of persuasion) should be ridiculed.

All mention of critical thinking, expository writing (clarity of communication) and reasoning(logic) belongs to mathematics. Mathematical Calculation should take on the generalized meaning of writing out ideas clearly and carefully so as to infer conclusions.

In my opinion these things have not happened because:

1) The English department has too much power, and they don't want to lose their monopoly on "writing" (which belongs to math at least as much as does arithmetic).

2) The computer science department enjoys not being associated with algebra/precalculus, because they receive more funding and more students. Very few freshmen going into computer science realize they will be doing more of what they think of as math (precalculus) then will be the freshmen going in to mathematics.