We All Need Math, But Math Does Not Need Us

Anna Crombie


City wide, maybe even country wide, the majority of students can agree on our mutual dislike for mathematics in school. Over half my peers are struggling with mathematics and almost half have tutors. Of course, there are students who do excel in math and I’m sure enjoying it, but even those who are not necessarily weak at math find themselves struggling with the subject. Students find math tedious and frustrating. When a problem
cannot be solved right away, most students give up and either ask for help or
check the answer in the back of our text books. Students appear to be impatient
with strenuous work, intellectually lazy, but this is because we are not
interested in what we are doing. I believe it can be blamed on the way math is

The quick fix society we live in today reflects in math curriculums. Math—which the greatest minds through the ages have believed to be eternal truth and the key to the order of the universe—Is turned into a dull subject for most students. From early grade school to high school, we are taught to follow steps and plug numbers into formulas. We are given the same mundane problems year after year, only with more complexity added as new concepts are introduced. Most students manage to get through math until the later years of their schooling, when new and interesting facets of math begins
to show. Only at this point, students have already made a habit of perceiving
math as dry, mechanical and devoid of creativity. As math advances, following
steps and plugging numbers into formulas do not work as well. In our schools
students are given an easy way out as soon as they begin to have difficulties. We
are offered easier math courses and in fact guided not to take math if we are
struggling. Why are students taught to give up so easily? Mathematics is
necessary in developing a logical and intelligent way of thinking and schools
set students on an early path to giving it up.

I cannot deny that I would find it easier not to continue with math in grade twelve. I would have more time to focus on other subjects I find more interesting and my average would be higher. And although I am not planning on going into a field where I need math, I see it as essential. I only wish I could see math as interesting. I would like to learn how it truly applies to the world around us—and I do not mean how high the ball
will reach if thrown from a y-intercept of 4. Schools need to change the way
math is taught, not only because students are struggling but because they are
missing out on many of the marvels of our world. They need to teach us how it
really applies to world and allow us to solve problems on our own. This way, students
would not hate their math homework and foreclose their minds to the subject but
they will find joy in solving problems and exploring mathematical concepts.