It’s well known that there is a stigma attached to maths today. Both with regards to the fact that many people perhaps give up on maths and disregard it as unimportant, and still remains a slightly out-dated impression of its reputation of being geeky or nerdy.
Much of this is within the cultural context we hear from adults, the acceptance of ‘not being good at maths’ or the ‘I don’t do maths’ line is often heard. I have said it myself in the past, and have now come to deeply regret it. A negative attitude towards maths is a kingpin to not understanding it, breeding throughout our children’s generation that maths doesn’t really matter.
The key to creating a strong successful culture within maths today is having a positive attitude. What we need to instil in children is the importance of maths, its possibilities, its relation to real life and the world around us. From a young age developing confidence and resilience and truly understanding the basics before the rest of their maths learning gets lost in translation – resulting in the loss of attention and motivation.
Anyone that has given maths a talking down, should know deep down that it’s responsible for many things positive and successful. It helps us understand the world around us, enabling us to better understand and predict. For example basic everyday life survival, make business decisions, safeguarding on the internet, code breaking, the universe and its surroundings, understanding diseases and epidemics, predicting stock markets, understanding statistics and using them affectively, engineering and invention, forecasting weather, and the list goes on! There are so many things in life that we have maths to thank for, its success and our knowledge of it.
If we have a more positive outlook on maths and how it can benefit us in everyday life then we’re heading in the right direction. If our minds are set free to unlock the creativity of problem solving from a young age, then attitudes will start to change. If we understand that by defining questions we have, in order to solve them in maths, and translating back into real life situations is a reality, you begin to see the possibilities that maths has to offer. Then perhaps the grown up generation can see the bigger picture and feed that understanding back to the developing generation of today.
I want to make sure that I give that knowledge and guidance to my own children, to widen their options as they grow.
More parents need to learn how to create positivity towards maths and its relation to exciting possibilities. Let’s not allow our culture to continue in being socially acceptable to ‘no good at maths’ attitudes. Let’s help our children, even if you’re really not that good at maths, you can help them and yourself by relearning maths with them.