Education news and notes from Tampa Bay and Florida

Who needs all this math?



math.jpgThe push for children in Florida and across the country to improve their math skills has reached a loud roar. They're performing worse than ever, the think tanks decry.

So what?, wonders G.V. Ramanathan, professor emeritus of mathematics, statistics and computer science at the University of Illinois-Chicago.

"How much math do you really need in everyday life? Ask yourself that -- and also the next 10 people you meet, say, your plumber, your lawyer, your grocer, your mechanic, your physician or even a math teacher. Unlike literature, history, politics and music, math has little relevance to everyday life. That courses such as "Quantitative Reasoning" improve critical thinking is an unsubstantiated myth. All the mathematics one needs in real life can be learned in early years without much fuss. Most adults have no contact with math at work; nor do they curl up with an algebra book for relaxation."

Read his entire column. Then add your views to the conversation. Heck, we'll start. Took calculus, made a 5 on the AP exam, never touched it since. But that grade school math helps when adding up campaign donations or figuring out test score averages. Your turn.

(Times file photo)


[Last modified: Tuesday, October 26, 2010 4:47pm]


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