OT, do you hate math? Why?

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#1 Posted by XVision84 (13626 posts) -

So I've been studying math and physics for some time now, and it's been really interesting listening to people who say they despise math. They dislike it because it's confusing, it's inapplicable, it's hard, it's annoying, so many different reasons that all point towards the same idea. Math basically confuses people. I think this is mostly because of the nature of how it's taught, from a young age we're being fed formulas that we have to learn to use rather than derive, and we're told to just remember them.

I asked people taking high school math what their thoughts on it were, most of them said that they wanted to drop out. Upon further testing, it really showed that none of these students even understood the material that they were learning. Most people who understand math enjoy it, others who simply do it because they have to, do not understand the material and hate it. This is the case with most studies, sure, but math in particular is one of the biggest cases of this. That, and of course the related course: Physics.

So OT, do you hate math? And if so, why? Because I believe that most people who hate math or strongly dislike physics never really understood the material to begin with. People are given the wrong ideas of how math works and instead of trying to make users be creative with formulas and mix in some logical thinking with math, we're only given equations and practice which hold no useful merits when it comes to actually understanding the material.

READ BEFORE RANTING AT ME: I am not saying that you cannot like math, so don't yell at me saying "Argh, stupid TC, you think that people don't like math just because they don't understand it? You closed minded peasant!". Take a couple breaths, and cool your rage please.

#2 Posted by thegerg (14718 posts) -

No, that's stupid. Math is something that we use to understand the world around us and is vital to many aspects of our everyday lives. With out math you couldn't be asking dumb questions online, why would you hate it?

#3 Posted by XVision84 (13626 posts) -

@thegerg said:

No, that's stupid. Math is something that we use to understand the world around us and is vital to many aspects of our everyday lives. With out math you couldn't be asking dumb questions online, why would you hate it?

It's moreso a problem of people hate learning math. The short-term benefits of math are not clearly taught in school and neither are the creative aspects of it. In fact, math is kind of a joke until you reach calculus-level mathematics where it's taken more seriously. It's a problem in North America in general, the difficulty of math takes a huge spike near university which doesn't make sense. Ideas of calculus and problems like that should be taught earlier and the benefits of math should be made clear. A lot of people are being deterred from learning it because they believe that math is scary.

#4 Posted by InEMplease (6327 posts) -

Hate math, unless it's physics math...which is like all math. I guess I like the relatively basic non aeurysm inducing stuff. Trig was my cutoff point.

#5 Posted by mattbbpl (10559 posts) -

Math is, more or less, the base science. I love it, but I understand how people end up hating it. It's taught in such a way that math problems and formulas are simply thrown at students for them to figure out. We rarely, at the primary education level, have discussions with students about math's role in physics, chemistry, biology, economics, music, art, sociology, etc.

If that connection were made early and regularly reinforced, more students might respect it for what it is - the common language that describes our universe, our world, and us.

#6 Edited by InEMplease (6327 posts) -

If anything I appreciate the hell out of math, as much as it confuses me.

#7 Posted by XVision84 (13626 posts) -

@mattbbpl said:

Math is, more or less, the base science. I love it, but I understand how people end up hating it. It's taught in such a way that math problems and formulas are simply thrown at students for them to figure out. We rarely, at the primary education level, have discussions with students about math's role in physics, chemistry, biology, economics, music, art, sociology, etc.

If that connection were made early and regularly reinforced, more students might respect it for what it is - the common language that describes our universe, our world, and us.

Exactly. I find that general curiosity in regards to math and the sciences are shifted to the side in the place of teaching the same concepts over and over again. Discussion and curiosity should come first, the material can always be taught a little later. Philosophy should be taught in with math and the sciences and put in place much earlier than late-high school (or even university).

#8 Edited by mattbbpl (10559 posts) -

@mattbbpl said:

Math is, more or less, the base science. I love it, but I understand how people end up hating it. It's taught in such a way that math problems and formulas are simply thrown at students for them to figure out. We rarely, at the primary education level, have discussions with students about math's role in physics, chemistry, biology, economics, music, art, sociology, etc.

If that connection were made early and regularly reinforced, more students might respect it for what it is - the common language that describes our universe, our world, and us.

Exactly. I find that general curiosity in regards to math and the sciences are shifted to the side in the place of teaching the same concepts over and over again. Discussion and curiosity should come first, the material can always be taught a little later. Philosophy should be taught in with math and the sciences and put in place much earlier than late-high school (or even university).

I took philosophy, but was never a fan of it outside of the core logic concepts.

Anyway, I think a part of the problem is that too many people don't care about education in general. They view it as something they HAVE to do, rather than something they WANT to do, especially during the adolescent years. When faced with an audience (class) that views it as a drudgery, it's hard to teach to those relative few who are genuinely excited about forming a more complete worldview.

#9 Posted by leviathan91 (7763 posts) -

I hate it but love it when I finally understand it. :P

It's funny because I remember spending an hour on one equation from a Calculus book (I was PreCal at the time) and when I finally got the gist of it and checked my answer, it was right (or mostly right) and for a minute I liked math. But then there were moments where I studied my ass off only to fail or do average on a quiz/test. Math was never my strongest suit but I don't hate it.

#10 Posted by XVision84 (13626 posts) -

@mattbbpl said:

@XVision84 said:

@mattbbpl said:

Math is, more or less, the base science. I love it, but I understand how people end up hating it. It's taught in such a way that math problems and formulas are simply thrown at students for them to figure out. We rarely, at the primary education level, have discussions with students about math's role in physics, chemistry, biology, economics, music, art, sociology, etc.

If that connection were made early and regularly reinforced, more students might respect it for what it is - the common language that describes our universe, our world, and us.

Exactly. I find that general curiosity in regards to math and the sciences are shifted to the side in the place of teaching the same concepts over and over again. Discussion and curiosity should come first, the material can always be taught a little later. Philosophy should be taught in with math and the sciences and put in place much earlier than late-high school (or even university).

I took philosophy, but was never a fan of it outside of the core logic concepts.

Anyway, I think a part of the problem is that too many people don't care about education in general. They view it as something they HAVE to do, rather than something they WANT to do, especially during the adolescent years. When faced with an audience (class) that views it as a drudgery, it's hard to teach to those relative few who are genuinely excited about forming a more complete worldview.

But why does school have to be a drudgery? Clearly there's a problem somewhere, somehow people are getting this idea that school is boring and learning is dull. Honestly, I think it's because of the lack of creative effort. If classes were designed more around designing things based off of what was learned rather than learn and follow, there would be more effort put in by students since they have the opportunity to give their own 2 cents.

Life is fun as a kid since you get to play around, but learning should be playing around and being curious, not just boring work.

#11 Edited by cain006 (8625 posts) -

Totally thought you said Marth. Assumed you meant in SSB - don't know why someone would find him annoying though.

Oh and I totally get what you mean. It's really nice to apply what you've learned in a new context. Sort of like solving a puzzle, it gives you that satisfaction of having figured it out.

#12 Posted by LoG-Sacrament (20397 posts) -

some math is just plugging figures into equations. that part isn't bad because it's easy and gets done quickly. other facets are like puzzles, which i actually like because i'm nerdy. my favorite math course was actually in the philosophy department. it was a formal logic class (i had to take it to graduate), but really it's just math.

#13 Posted by MonsieurX (29281 posts) -

I don't.

I'm (trying) to teach them

#14 Posted by mattbbpl (10559 posts) -

@mattbbpl said:

@XVision84 said:

@mattbbpl said:

Math is, more or less, the base science. I love it, but I understand how people end up hating it. It's taught in such a way that math problems and formulas are simply thrown at students for them to figure out. We rarely, at the primary education level, have discussions with students about math's role in physics, chemistry, biology, economics, music, art, sociology, etc.

If that connection were made early and regularly reinforced, more students might respect it for what it is - the common language that describes our universe, our world, and us.

Exactly. I find that general curiosity in regards to math and the sciences are shifted to the side in the place of teaching the same concepts over and over again. Discussion and curiosity should come first, the material can always be taught a little later. Philosophy should be taught in with math and the sciences and put in place much earlier than late-high school (or even university).

I took philosophy, but was never a fan of it outside of the core logic concepts.

Anyway, I think a part of the problem is that too many people don't care about education in general. They view it as something they HAVE to do, rather than something they WANT to do, especially during the adolescent years. When faced with an audience (class) that views it as a drudgery, it's hard to teach to those relative few who are genuinely excited about forming a more complete worldview.

But why does school have to be a drudgery? Clearly there's a problem somewhere, somehow people are getting this idea that school is boring and learning is dull. Honestly, I think it's because of the lack of creative effort. If classes were designed more around designing things based off of what was learned rather than learn and follow, there would be more effort put in by students since they have the opportunity to give their own 2 cents.

Life is fun as a kid since you get to play around, but learning should be playing around and being curious, not just boring work.

It doesn't have to be a drudgery, it just ends up being that way. I think it's easy to lay the blame at the teacher's feet, but that's not really fair. The majority of students view it as a drudgery - they're just focused on other things from which school distracts and/or they're afraid of looking uncool to those of their friends who are focused on other things.

When I went into the university honors program, it was like night and day. Instead of the majority of students hating their classes, they relished them. Discussion was lively, dissenting opinions elicited excitement, and when we had free reign to do things like create our own lab work we did things like reanimate a dead frog to see who could make him jump the furthest.

It's all about environment. If your class views it as a drudgery it will be a self fulfilling prophecy for most participants. If the majority is genuinely curious and interested in being challenged, they will challenge themselves and those around them.

But, regardless, the majority dictates the flow and atmosphere of the class.

#15 Posted by GhettoBlastin92 (1146 posts) -

I don't hate it I just have no need for all the advance stuff. In my job all I use is the basics, addition, subtraction, multiplication, division and fractions.

#16 Posted by XVision84 (13626 posts) -

@mattbbpl said:

@XVision84 said:

@mattbbpl said:

@XVision84 said:

@mattbbpl said:

Math is, more or less, the base science. I love it, but I understand how people end up hating it. It's taught in such a way that math problems and formulas are simply thrown at students for them to figure out. We rarely, at the primary education level, have discussions with students about math's role in physics, chemistry, biology, economics, music, art, sociology, etc.

If that connection were made early and regularly reinforced, more students might respect it for what it is - the common language that describes our universe, our world, and us.

Exactly. I find that general curiosity in regards to math and the sciences are shifted to the side in the place of teaching the same concepts over and over again. Discussion and curiosity should come first, the material can always be taught a little later. Philosophy should be taught in with math and the sciences and put in place much earlier than late-high school (or even university).

I took philosophy, but was never a fan of it outside of the core logic concepts.

Anyway, I think a part of the problem is that too many people don't care about education in general. They view it as something they HAVE to do, rather than something they WANT to do, especially during the adolescent years. When faced with an audience (class) that views it as a drudgery, it's hard to teach to those relative few who are genuinely excited about forming a more complete worldview.

But why does school have to be a drudgery? Clearly there's a problem somewhere, somehow people are getting this idea that school is boring and learning is dull. Honestly, I think it's because of the lack of creative effort. If classes were designed more around designing things based off of what was learned rather than learn and follow, there would be more effort put in by students since they have the opportunity to give their own 2 cents.

Life is fun as a kid since you get to play around, but learning should be playing around and being curious, not just boring work.

It doesn't have to be a drudgery, it just ends up being that way. I think it's easy to lay the blame at the teacher's feet, but that's not really fair. The majority of students view it as a drudgery - they're just focused on other things from which school distracts and/or they're afraid of looking uncool to those of their friends who are focused on other things.

When I went into the university honors program, it was like night and day. Instead of the majority of students hating their classes, they relished them. Discussion was lively, dissenting opinions elicited excitement, and when we had free reign to do things like create our own lab work we did things like reanimate a dead frog to see who could make him jump the furthest.

It's all about environment. If your class views it as a drudgery it will be a self fulfilling prophecy for most participants. If the majority is genuinely curious and interested in being challenged, they will challenge themselves and those around them.

But, regardless, the majority dictates the flow and atmosphere of the class.

I agree, but I'm not really blaming the teachers. I'm blaming the curriculum in general. When you get to university level chemistry or physics or biology, you're definitely doing more interesting lab work with classmates rather than sitting in class learning about basic concepts. Of course, one leads to the other, but I'm sure the basic concepts can be taught more openly.

I just think that if the class is more "free" like in university, you'll have a better atmosphere overall.

#17 Posted by leviathan91 (7763 posts) -

@mattbbpl said:

@XVision84 said:

@mattbbpl said:

Math is, more or less, the base science. I love it, but I understand how people end up hating it. It's taught in such a way that math problems and formulas are simply thrown at students for them to figure out. We rarely, at the primary education level, have discussions with students about math's role in physics, chemistry, biology, economics, music, art, sociology, etc.

If that connection were made early and regularly reinforced, more students might respect it for what it is - the common language that describes our universe, our world, and us.

Exactly. I find that general curiosity in regards to math and the sciences are shifted to the side in the place of teaching the same concepts over and over again. Discussion and curiosity should come first, the material can always be taught a little later. Philosophy should be taught in with math and the sciences and put in place much earlier than late-high school (or even university).

I took philosophy, but was never a fan of it outside of the core logic concepts.

Anyway, I think a part of the problem is that too many people don't care about education in general. They view it as something they HAVE to do, rather than something they WANT to do, especially during the adolescent years. When faced with an audience (class) that views it as a drudgery, it's hard to teach to those relative few who are genuinely excited about forming a more complete worldview.

But why does school have to be a drudgery? Clearly there's a problem somewhere, somehow people are getting this idea that school is boring and learning is dull. Honestly, I think it's because of the lack of creative effort. If classes were designed more around designing things based off of what was learned rather than learn and follow, there would be more effort put in by students since they have the opportunity to give their own 2 cents.

Life is fun as a kid since you get to play around, but learning should be playing around and being curious, not just boring work.

I think students and parents alike should have more choice in what schools and classes they think should attend (whether it's something oriented to science, history, art, or whatever), as well as eliminating standardized testing and other popular, yet baseless ways our children are protected and taught such as limiting homework (too much homework isn't a good thing and has been proven over and over) and zero tolerance policies (a well meaning federal law but ruined by state and local law that has led to many frivolous cases).

Obviously a student will still have to take the core classes, but I believe there should be more options available in terms of schooling and classes.

#18 Posted by Jimn_tonic (819 posts) -

i'm not fond of the subject. i use very basic formulas in the more practical end; fuel economy, checks and balances, home improvement.. but most of it just isn't necessary for my life.

#19 Edited by XVision84 (13626 posts) -

@XVision84 said:

@mattbbpl said:

@XVision84 said:

@mattbbpl said:

Math is, more or less, the base science. I love it, but I understand how people end up hating it. It's taught in such a way that math problems and formulas are simply thrown at students for them to figure out. We rarely, at the primary education level, have discussions with students about math's role in physics, chemistry, biology, economics, music, art, sociology, etc.

If that connection were made early and regularly reinforced, more students might respect it for what it is - the common language that describes our universe, our world, and us.

Exactly. I find that general curiosity in regards to math and the sciences are shifted to the side in the place of teaching the same concepts over and over again. Discussion and curiosity should come first, the material can always be taught a little later. Philosophy should be taught in with math and the sciences and put in place much earlier than late-high school (or even university).

I took philosophy, but was never a fan of it outside of the core logic concepts.

Anyway, I think a part of the problem is that too many people don't care about education in general. They view it as something they HAVE to do, rather than something they WANT to do, especially during the adolescent years. When faced with an audience (class) that views it as a drudgery, it's hard to teach to those relative few who are genuinely excited about forming a more complete worldview.

But why does school have to be a drudgery? Clearly there's a problem somewhere, somehow people are getting this idea that school is boring and learning is dull. Honestly, I think it's because of the lack of creative effort. If classes were designed more around designing things based off of what was learned rather than learn and follow, there would be more effort put in by students since they have the opportunity to give their own 2 cents.

Life is fun as a kid since you get to play around, but learning should be playing around and being curious, not just boring work.

I think students and parents alike should have more choice in what schools and classes they think should attend (whether it's something oriented to science, history, art, or whatever), as well as eliminating standardized testing and other popular, yet baseless ways our children are protected and taught such as limiting homework (too much homework isn't a good thing and has been proven over and over) and zero tolerance policies (a well meaning federal law but ruined by state and local law that has led to many frivolous cases).

Obviously a student will still have to take the core classes, but I believe there should be more options available in terms of schooling and classes.

Definitely agree with you there, more options the better. But some courses should still be "forced" or at least "demoed" at an earlier time because what might happen is parents will make their children take the course they want them to take rather than the child experimenting and finding out what they like.

#20 Edited by Dogswithguns (10693 posts) -

I love math.. but the thing is I suck at it.

#21 Posted by InEMplease (6327 posts) -

So I ask my wife "On a scale of 1-10, how do you rate me as a lover?" She says "Honey, you know I'm no good at fractions."

#22 Posted by HuggyBear1020 (456 posts) -

Human nature. People hate things they do not understand.

#23 Edited by TAMKFan (32718 posts) -

Well, I don't like it as much as I used to.

#24 Posted by Shmiity (5014 posts) -

I didn't hate it, but I also didn't get very far in it. I did basic algebra and Geometry, and that was it. Unless you consider Statistics a math course.

I never did Algebra 2, Calculus, Trig... just wasn't a part of my education path; University included.

#25 Posted by XenoLair (4755 posts) -

I have no idea how to use it in daily life. I was never taught how. Every subject in math was covered with formulas and functions but no one told us how and where to actually use it. I use logic to conquer problems.

#26 Edited by achilles614 (4847 posts) -

@XVision84 said:
trying to make users be creative with formulas and mix in some logical thinking with math,

Math is NOT about just manipulating formulas, in most cases the formulas describe powerful concepts and those concepts should be learned far before learning formula trickery.

The derivative of a function at a point is a good example of students learning how to use a formula and hardly understanding what it means. Many students leave calculus 1 with only the idea that it's the "instantaneous rate of change" and how to apply the different rules we have developed for elementary functions. If you teach them the limit concept and hammer in the idea of applying it to the difference quotient (and what the difference quotient actually is) they'll have a far better understanding. You don't even need the difference quotient formula if you understand how functions work and what the DQ implies, you can 100% build the concept from logical reasoning.

I know you included logical thinking but the creative with formulas comment irked me.

On topic, I love math. Taking a proof-based vector/multivariable calculus course really opened my eyes to how awesome math is and humbled me in terms of my mathematical abilities.

#27 Posted by comp_atkins (31213 posts) -

no hate for it, it's been a useful tool for my existence.