Why It’s Important to Teach Children About Real-Life Math Applications

One of the biggest fallacies that teachers hear every day is that mathematics is hard. Over the years it has been proven that attitude towards mathematics determines the learner’s success in the subject. Learner achievement in mathematics is therefore highly dependent on pedagogy. So, why is it so important to teach children about real-life math applications and help them gain a better attitude for the subject?

How Can Attitude Affect the Way We Learn?

When mathematical concepts are presented as abstract ideas, learners fail to relate to concepts taught and it leads to the development of a negative attitude towards the subject. Attitude is everything when it comes to learning. With a negative attitude, learners can never do well in the subject. A positive attitude towards the subject can only be achieved when the pedagogical methods are used to turn abstract into concrete by providing learning activities that learners can identify within their day-to-day lives.

Of the biggest concerns for mathematics tutors are ways to make the learners love mathematics. Research by Texas Instruments revealed that 46% of learners said that they love the subject. 24% said they hate the subject, while 30% were indifferent about the subject. That is to show that more than half of the learners interviewed were either indifferent or hated the subject. 68% of the learners interviewed said they would love the subject more if they understood how it applies to their future.

This research reveals that the cause for the negative attitude and indifference towards mathematics is a disconnect between what is taught in class and what is applied in real life. Teaching mathematics should therefore use math activities that promote tapering the gap between the abstract and the concrete. Pedagogical techniques that appeal to the creative power of the learners’ minds and present them with real-life applications of the concepts they learn should be encouraged.

How Can Teachers Help Increase Positive Learners?

To achieve this, educators must break away from the traditional ways of teaching mathematics. Innovative math activities must be used in class. First, educators must use methods that allow exploration and discovery. Instead of just stating mathematical facts, one can use historical facts that explain how the mathematical fact was derived. Later they can explain how it is useful in the real world. Then give math activities that encourage imagination and creativity. For example, questions may begin with “Imagine that you are…”. This creates a mental picture of what the learners could be doing in the future.

Teachers have the power to influence the learners’ attitude towards mathematics by applying the right pedagogical tools. There are so many fun ways your child can learn math and apply them to the real world.