Why So Many Students Hate Math

Why So Many Students Hate Math

A whopping four out of 10 students in the United States report hating math, according to a recent poll.
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Math. That one, dreaded subject has forever been subject to criticism and hatred from students all over the world.

But it's not the subject that's the problem; it's the way that it's taught. Rather than being taught in a way that is applicable to real life situations and more engaging for students, math taught as a strictly paper-and-pencils subject with no dimensions whatsoever.

Now, don't get me wrong, I've absolutely despised math until about middle school, when everything began clicking and I finally realized how different areas of the subject overlapped and blended together beautifully. What really changed my perception of math, however, was a summer program I attended this summer called Governor's Honors Program.

The one distinct thing about this program that set it apart from a normal school setting was its diversity of subject material and emphasis on learning the material in interactive ways, rather than simply memorizing tedious formulas and systematic ways of solving each type of problem that can appear in a unit. Many students never have the privilege of seeing the incredibly beautiful, dynamic side of math, which leads to all the disinterest in the subject.

I have to admit, math without any apparent purpose can often become tedious and seem unnecessary. A person’s interest in math is determined by their initial exposure to the subject, and so an important step toward improving students’ attitudes toward it will be to start at the roots and work up from there — we need to begin making math in elementary school more engaging to capture students’ initial interest and then cultivate that interest in later years of school.

In order to make elementary school math easier and more engaging for students, it is vital for schools to begin emphasizing STEM subjects such as math and science early on in school rather than in late middle or high school. Trying to change an ingrained mindset is much harder than initial formulation of their perceptions of a subject. Since elementary school math curriculums primarily consist of memorization of numbers, properties, and rules, students perceive all of math to be “boring" rather than dynamic, involved and heavily problem-solving-based.

Why has this perception not changed for such a long time? It's because of the pressure of excessive amounts of tests, quizzes, homework and projects. While it is true that such checkpoints are necessary to ensure that all students study the required material, other methods can be used to ensure this. For example, all students in elementary school could be required to attend a problem-solving math class that uses simple math concepts and applies them to realistic solutions. Also, optional after-school programs should be created for students who wish to pursue certain aspects of mathematics. Presenting math in a more interesting way will ensure that students do not make false perceptions about the subject early on in their lives, making it more likely that they will pursue specific interests later on.

Cover Image Credit: Pexel

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I'm The Girl Who'd Rather Raise A Family Than A Feminist Protest Sign

You raise your protest picket signs and I’ll raise my white picket fence.
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Social Media feeds are constantly filled with quotes on women's rights, protests with mobs of women, and an array of cleverly worded picket signs.

Good for them, standing up for their beliefs and opinions. Will I be joining my tight-knit family of the same gender?

Nope, no thank you.

Don't get me wrong, I am not going to be oblivious to my history and the advancements that women have fought to achieve. I am aware that the strides made by many women before me have provided us with voting rights, a voice, equality, and equal pay in the workforce.

SEE ALSO: To The Girl Who Would Rather Raise A Family Than A Feminist Protest Sign

For that, I am deeply thankful. But at this day in age, I know more female managers in the workforce than male. I know more women in business than men. I know more female students in STEM programs than male students. So what’s with all the hype? We are girl bosses, we can run the world, we don’t need to fight the system anymore.

Please stop.

Because it is insulting to the rest of us girls who are okay with being homemakers, wives, or stay-at-home moms. It's dividing our sisterhood, and it needs to stop.

All these protests and strong statements make us feel like now we HAVE to obtain a power position in our career. It's our rightful duty to our sisters. And if we do not, we are a disappointment to the gender and it makes us look weak.

Weak to the point where I feel ashamed to say to a friend “I want to be a stay at home mom someday.” Then have them look at me like I must have been brain-washed by a man because that can be the only explanation. I'm tired of feeling belittled for being a traditionalist.

Why?

Because why should I feel bad for wanting to create a comfortable home for my future family, cooking for my husband, being a soccer mom, keeping my house tidy? Because honestly, I cannot wait.

I will have no problem taking my future husband’s last name, and following his lead.

The Bible appoints men to be the head of a family, and for wives to submit to their husbands. (This can be interpreted in so many ways, so don't get your panties in a bunch at the word “submit”). God specifically made women to be gentle and caring, and we should not be afraid to embrace that. God created men to be leaders with the strength to carry the weight of a family.

However, in no way does this mean that the roles cannot be flipped. If you want to take on the responsibility, by all means, you go girl. But for me personally? I'm sensitive, I cry during horror movies, I'm afraid of basements and dark rooms. I, in no way, am strong enough to take on the tasks that men have been appointed to. And I'm okay with that.

So please, let me look forward to baking cookies for bake sales and driving a mom car.

And I'll support you in your endeavors and climb to the top of the corporate ladder. It doesn't matter what side you are on as long as we support each other, because we all need some girl power.

Cover Image Credit: Unsplash

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Dear America, We Can Step Forward As A Country If We Stop Believing That Only One Belief Is Valid

It's time to promote unity and emphasize our commonalities because only through unity can we step forward as a country.

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Dear America,

2018 was a year of political strife and conflict. The left and the right fought constantly. Republicans and Democrats blamed each other for the tiniest mistakes, and there were only a small number of successful bipartisan deals. Politicians and citizens alike seemed more concerned with sticking to party platforms, even ones they truly didn't believe in, rather than compromising with the other side to improve our society.Yet all this name-calling and hatred — what does it do in the end? What does it accomplish?

We've only seen an increased polarization of American politics and an expanded hostility towards "the other side." We don't consider the well-being of each and every person in America and the bettering of our society, or the building of a stronger world for our children and grandchildren.

We spend so much time insulting each other's political beliefs that we forget probably the most important fact that links us all together: We are all human. We all share the same basic needs, the same struggles, the same moments of happiness and sadness.

And yet we are willing to put our similarities aside and only focus on our differences. We are willing to thrust ourselves into the deep anger and loathing that comes in attacking those different from us. We are willing to parry insults behind the safety of a phone screen and forget all about what makes us alike. And we are willing to gloss over the fact that we have more similarities than differences.

SEE ALSO: Dear Trump, Thanks For Transforming Me Into A Responsible, Educated Citizen

Yes, political beliefs make a person. Political beliefs define the values, ideas and thoughts of a person. But sometimes, we have to reach over those beliefs, as hard as that may be, and focus on the bigger picture at hand. What will insulting someone because of those beliefs do? It definitely won't change their views or make them see things from your point of view.

It's sad and frustrating that this endless fighting doesn't even occur between two countries or two governments or two nation-states. Instead, we see arguments and strife between two family members, two neighbors or even two strangers, all living in the same community and under the same government, all sharing more similarities than differences.

We need to stop focusing so much on singular ideas. We need to stop believing in the close-minded idea that only one thought is the best thought. And instead of wasting energy trying to change other's opinions, we need to use that energy and time to promote unity and emphasize our commonalities.

These past few years have truly divided America. Let's make 2019 a year of unity, because only through unity can we step forward as a country.

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