Mathematics and its importance
Mathematics is a fundamental part of human thought and logic, and integral to attempts at understanding the world and ourselves. Mathematics provides an effective way of building mental discipline and encourages logical reasoning and mental rigor. In addition, mathematical knowledge plays a crucial role in understanding the contents of other school subjects such as science, social studies, and even music and art.
Firstly, we ask the question: why does mathematics hold such an important and unique place among other subjects? That is, what is the significance of mathematics in the overall school curriculum? As a point of departure we offer a few thoughts on why mathematics should be treated as an important subject in overall curriculum.
- Mathematics has a transversal nature. If we reflect on the history of curriculum in general, then mathematics (geometry and algebra) were two of the seven liberal arts in Greek as well as in medieval times. This historical role supports the notion that mathematics has provided the mental discipline required for other disciplines.
- Mathematical literacy is a crucial attribute of individuals living more effective lives as constructive, concerned and reflective citizens. Mathematical literacy is taken to include basic computational skills, quantitative reasoning, spatial ability etc.
- Mathematics is applied in various fields and disciplines, i.e., mathematical concepts and procedures are used to solve problems in science, engineering, economics. (For example, the understanding of complex numbers is a prerequisite to learn many concepts in electronics.) The complexity of those problems often requires relatively sophisticated mathematical concepts and procedures when compared to the mathematical literacy aforementioned.
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