The problem with math educationPear Tree Education
Pear Tree Education
4th Oct, 2011

Math is always just math, unless…

Paul RomaniYou’ve got to look at education from the perspective of a student

By Paul Romani

It’s tough critiquing the efforts of an educator. Take Elisha Bonnis for example: ; she’s trying hard to improve the quality of math teaching. You’ve got to admire her passion. How can you knock that?

Well, you have to look at education from the perspective of a student.

Many teachers think they do this, but actually end up setting themselves the objective of making math fun and exciting. Yay! …


The problem is that math will always be boring – even if you help them ‘get it’ – unless students see a point to studying it. Honestly, who cares about fractions and ratios?!


Real-life application must be at the heart and soul of any school subject. That’s actually quite difficult for many teachers. We assume that students will share our passion for our specialist subject. Also, its likely that teachers haven’t had another career beyond teaching. Therefore, its hard to appreciate the full potential of math outside of the classroom.

Math should ultimately be taught with other subjects, not separately. Math relates directly to home economics, food/nutrition, science, art/design, finance/business, social science, sports, sports science, language arts, etc.


Students are more likely to want to learn math, and be interested in it, if it relates to and benefits their life outside the classroom.

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