NY Times: Is Algebra Necessary?
I’m a litle curious, what do you guys think about this article?
My point of view on this topic can be summed up by this xkcd comic:
As someone who’s taught high school algebra, I absolutely agree that the material is largely irrelevant for 95% of students. I’m a huge math nerd, and even I rarely find a use for algebra in my everyday activities. We come up with contrived examples and word problems and tell the kids “You’ll need this someday!,” but they know that’s not true. They become apathetic. It’s hard enough to keep their attention as is, but presenting them with material that is flat out useless to most of them is just painful. That’s one of the primary reasons I decided not to teach again next year. It’s a losing battle. Too much emphasis on standardized testing and not enough focus on critical reasoning skills essential to build life-long learners.
The most accurate drawing of what it’s like to be a math teacher.