What is the age of mathematics?
In the US, children and young people are taking math classes until they finish school. However, students studying art in New York are rebelling. So, to what age is learning mathematics necessary?
The students of LaGuardia Art School, which is the subject of the film “Fame”, do not oppose the school preparing students for both academic and art fields.But they question the meaning of forcing students who do not want to progress in academic direction to learn mathematics, and these concerns reflect the general debate on this issue.
Andrew Hacker, a long-time professor of political science at Princeton University in the United States, wrote in an article in the New York Times that 6 million high school students and 2 million university students were forced into algebra on a typical day of study.According to the hacker, this struggle with mathematics is “not only foolish but also cruel”.In his book “The Myth of Mathematics,” Hacker explains these ideas more broadly and argues that most people do not have a mathematical mind.Hacker, “about 7 percent of people have a natural ability to mathematics. For the rest of the aimless torture,” he says.Especially the fear and hate against algebra can have other consequences.In the US, 20 percent of high school students drop out without getting a diploma. The biggest academic reason is to be unsuccessful in mathematics.”The same goes for college,” says Hacker. Thousands of Americans leave school without getting a diploma because they have difficulty in mathematics.The current curriculum in the United States requires each student to study algebra for two years, as well as geometry and trigonometry, which are sub-branches of mathematics.Hacker, Germany, England, France, such as European countries around 16 years of mathematics has become an elective course and emphasizes that those who do not want to read.Moreover, it cannot be said that compulsory mathematics education works in the USA. In international assessments, American students are in the middle of mathematics as well as reading and science.Mathematics should be considered as a way of thinking
But not everyone agrees. There are some who say that it is not necessary to have a math head to benefit mathematics.Dimitri Shlyanhtenko, who holds a doctorate in mathematics at the University of California at the age of 22, emphasizes that the problem is not in mathematics but in teaching.”Calculus is very stupid in itself,” says Shlyanhtenko, a sub-branch of mathematics.But if you consider mathematics as a way of thinking rather than memorizing the multiplication table, then it becomes “a life skill that makes everything possible.”The professor says that even art-lovers need math to draw their own budget and regulate their cash flow.He attributes many consumers to make unreasonable decisions in shopping because their mathematical skills are not good.In Singapore, which is ranked at the top of the International Student Assessment Program, known as PISA, students have to take one of the mathematics or science courses, even if they choose social science courses in high school.However, in countries such as Germany, France, England, which are at least 11 places ahead of the US in the PISA ranking, there is no compulsory application for students after 16 years of age and they can only choose courses in the field of social sciences.What kind of practice should there be in art schools like LaGuardia for students who don’t like math?Sandra Nagy, a training director at a design company working in partnership with schools in Toronto, agrees with Professor Shlyakhtenko that the way she teaches mathematics is problematic.Nagy says that mathematics is taught in a very abstract and non-realistic way.”Because we don’t make it about the students’ lives, they classify themselves as those with and without maths minds, and thinking this way is shaking confidence.”When students ask why they have learned a topic, the answer should not be “you need to know”.Nagy says how mathematics is used in the financial field and that everyone needs it, and insisting on difficult issues is a life skill.The artist who is educated in the field of art and will receive an Oscar in cinema in the future may also need mathematics.