Wild About Math! Making Math fun and accessible

28Oct/0810

Important Reasons for Learning the Fundamentals of Math

[ Editor's note: This post was contributed by Kelly Kilpatrick, who writes on the subject of how to Become a teacher in Florida. She invites your feedback at kellykilpatrick24 at gmail dot com. ]

Math is used in varying degrees in every single aspect of our daily lives, especially in the information age. Whether you are cognizant of this fact or not, computations are constantly running calculations are being made, and formulas are being proved. Our world is a mathematical world. What follows is a list five important reasons we need to have a strong understanding of the fundamentals of math.

Math is an integral part of daily life.

Whether you are balancing your checkbook or receiving change from the attendant at the gas station, math is being used. Mathematical processes are hard at work behind the scenes, keeping things working and operating smoothly. Having a firm understand of the basic principals of math is necessary to function and prosper on a daily basis.

Fundamentals are the building blocks for more advanced math.

If you have a firm grasp of the fundamentals of math, you will be able to learn more advanced mathematical processes far more easily. Having good math skills will ultimately save you time and reduce the need to need tutoring or remediation. Fundamentals are needed to move on; not having this foundation will result in more time spent on working on things that you should already know. Additionally, since each process builds upon prior knowledge and successful application of these skills, it is of the utmost importance that the fundamentals are solid.

Skills increase your speed and accuracy.

When time is of the essence regarding coursework or anything else that requires math skills, it is good to have your fundament math skills down pat. Your work will require less checking if you are certain that you have done the finer points correctly, and with accuracy comes speed naturally.

Early success is the beginning of future success.

Since our world is a mathematical world, it logically follows that establishing your simple math skills early on will ensure that you have the skills necessary to work toward success related to later mathematical endeavors. Whether you are interested in computer science, engineering, or any number of professions that utilize math on a regular basis, it behooves you to hone your mathematical skills sooner rather than later.

By-line:
This post was contributed by Kelly Kilpatrick, who writes on the subject of how to Become a teacher in Florida. She invites your feedback at kellykilpatrick24 at gmail dot com.

Comments (10) Trackbacks (1)
  1. “Math is an integral part of daily life”.
    So, what should we derive from this? :-)

    (seriously, I think there is a point lacking: math cannot be learned, it has to be understood. Both pupils and teachers must keep this in mind: it’s the only way to really grasp the fundamentals. But don’t make me write to Kelly!)

  2. “What follows is a list **five** important reasons we need to have a strong understanding of the fundamentals of math.”

    Where is the fifth? I only count four.

  3. That IS the fifth reason..with a good foundation in math, you can check if what other people tell you makes sense…for example… how do we prove that “If you have a firm grasp of the fundamentals of math, you will be able to learn more advanced mathematical processes far more easily.”
    It MAY be true for everyone, it may NOT be true for anyone..we have no evidence from this article… do we accept the axiom set on which the four(five) statements are based?

  4. I think this is actually an extremely narrow understanding of what mathematics is about. Mathematics is indeed an integral part of daily life, but not because of any such mundane activities as counting change or balancing a checkbook. That’s arithmetic. Mathematics is about seeing the patterns and trends in the world about us, it’s about appreciating rhythms and routines, it’s about solving problems and rational thought, it’s about analysing situations and looking at them systematically, learning to deal with the causes, not the symptoms. Mathematics is about understanding generalities in life. Every time you appreciate something that is beautiful, you’re involving mathematics. Every time you try to convince somebody of something, you’re using logic – a fundamental mathematical skill.

    Sure, arithmetic is necessary, but it’s a minor detail really. Focusing on arithmetic is like admiring a tiny patch of bark on a huge tree in an incredibly enormous & fantastically beautiful forest.

    So many people see arithmetic as such a challenge, making it the main focus can be soul-destroying. But open their eyes to the beauty, fascination, and wonder of mathematics, and they’ll work on their arithmetic of their own accord because they can appreciate it so much more.

  5. Do you teach math? If you do have you ever used blogs in teaching?

  6. That is such a “right on” post! Congratulations. You hit so many nails on their heads!

    I don’t think it’s narrow. The title is about learning the “fundamentals” of mathematics, by which it seems you mean the basic operations of arithmetic.

    The reasons for learning math are myriad, and fall beyond the scope of the piece, if I read you right. This post need not be comprehensive. What you have covered is thoroughly on target!

    Focussing on arithmetic in a post does not mean you are ignoring “greater math.”

    Brian (a.k.a. Professor Homunculus at MathMojo.com )

  7. This is a great article. I am going to be a math teacher one day and I believe these are wonderful ideas to share with my students. Many people are discouraged by math and do not understand why it is so important to really understand. Math is going to always be a part of our world no matter what. THe Fundamentals of Math are very true and accurate. Math is, an integral part of our eveyrday life.

  8. I am with David on this one. I teach sixth grade math and the trouble with the education system in this country IMO is that many elementary school teachers do not see math as anything beyond arithmetic. It is like trying to teach someone to be a writer by focusing on spelling. Narrow minded. I skipped the section of the textbook with the written form of long numbers and my math teacher colleagues argued that it was very important for example, when “writing checks.” How many of today’s 11 year-old kids will physically write checks in the future? The days of rote are gone. We can look at the beauty of pattern, logic, and function. The arithmetic is just a natural part of that big picture.

  9. para mi es importante las matematicas porque nos ayuda a romper paradigma en el campo de los numeros y el avace de un desarrollo integral y economico en los seres humanos

  10. I need to know why math as a subject is better than english as a subject because I have this debate on wednesday, thanks


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