Math is not my thing. It has never been — no matter what type of math, the teacher, or level of difficulty, I have never liked it. Even when I understand it, (which is rare), I don't like it. However, I have now taken it for 14 years and counting. I have suffered through statistics, pre-algebra, algebra, algebra 2, trigonometry, and everything in between. Even this year, as a college freshman with a double major in journalism and sociology- both humanities and English-based subjects- I still am in a math class.
However, shortly into this semester, I noticed that many of my friends and peers who are currently in more science/math based majors are not required to take an English class. When talking with freshman and math major Peyton Brown, she claimed she has yet to even write a paper this academic school year. However, I regularly attend my math class three days a week and have now taken three exams. If math is not applicable to my major, shouldn't I be able to avoid taking a it, just as she does English?
Now I am not saying that there are not very valuable lessons and skills that can be gained from math. However, I know now, as I have for years, that math is not what I want to do in my future. And although I do believe that the core principals of math can be, and is, very useful if not vital to daily life, I simply will not use the majority of math I have learned in my life or desired career. Math classes should instead teach the math required to file taxes, loans, car payments, insurance, etc.- topics that students gain more value from and are more applicable to their futures, which would, therefore, create a stronger desire within students to learn. There is a very large difference between intrinsic and extrinsic motivation, and requiring students to take classes they do not want to not only puts them in a frustrating position, but takes their time away from classes that can better help them grow, learn, and develop both as an individual and scholar.
It is because of this that I believe we should even the playing field- if math majors are not required to take English, English majors should not be required to take math. I strongly believe that while there should be a core level of education on every subject, we should give greater freedom to students to choose when they wish to stop taking a subject. Because if you're anything like me, you knew by high school that math was simply not something you wanted to pursue.