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    God, absolute drivel, tell the kids of today to study the arts, they'll love you for it...

    This author can't be that great of a mathematician if he's ended up writing articles for the Guardian...

    We need to shake off this fear of intellectualism in Britain, starting by not perpetuating the lie that mathematics is useless anywhere but academia...
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    (Original post by TorpidPhil)
    I don't really disagree with any of it.

    Most a-level maths is useless. Pure maths at degree level too has very few practical applications insofar as societal development goes.
    You posted that using a Turing machine. You know, a thing that grew out of the Hilbert program, one of the most pure mathematical projects every undertaken.
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    Translation: maths hasn't helped my career in the media and the same goes for most of my friends.

    ...but he no doubt expects the light to come on when he throws the switch, to drive his car over bridges that don't fall over and to receive medical treatment that is more effective than a placebo.

    probably he aught to be grateful that there are large number of people who do know the area of a circle and how to calculate an average.
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    Maths is a very useful subject and I hold anyone who studies it in the highest regard. However, entirely selfishly might I add, I'm glad that we ARENT fixated by maths as that would spell the end of my academic career!
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    Considering I'm doing the Scottish Higher, I find maths hard. To me what's hard about it is that I don't find any joy in the subject as I'm learning things I won't ever use (apart from the obvious stuff) and am only taking it so I can't get into Uni. Out of my whole class, about three to five of them may use some of the stuff, one wants to be an architect the others are mostly wanting some sort of engineering or medical career.
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    (Original post by KhaleesiStorm)
    Considering I'm doing the Scottish Higher, I find maths hard. To me what's hard about it is that I don't find any joy in the subject as I'm learning things I won't ever use (apart from the obvious stuff) and am only taking it so I can't get into Uni. Out of my whole class, about three to five of them may use some of the stuff, one wants to be an architect the others are mostly wanting some sort of engineering or medical career.
    Chemistry uni student here

    In uni you willmost likely use integration, trionometry is used in a vast number of things such as construction, you are also getting passive benifits such as learning to think constructively about problems, you will spot patterns easier etc.

    Maths has many benifits, often you will need to take it beyond A-level to spot them, but there are a lot of passive benifits that you wont spot.
    At uni anyone who did maths does much better than those who havn't in my course.

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    (Original post by TorpidPhil)
    Given the threads on TSR I think that's entirely unfounded.
    You know your line of thinking is awry when it starts with "Given [...] TSR".
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    (Original post by 13 1 20 8 42)
    Is it though? Don't like 40% get A or A* or something crazy lol. Maths A level is way too easy.
    Looking through the results statistics from Edexcel they're not that far from the average.
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    Yes, totally agree .... Maths esp pure advanced Maths should not be considered science but just some art. There was a time when I was fully in love with Maths and Maths was my obsession. I did 3 Maths A Levels and got 7 100UMS out of the 18 modules. It was very hard giving up Maths and I suffered withdrawal symptoms.

    Glad I moved on. Maths is what a selfish person does, and I don't blame mathematicians. That is what they are, their natures shouldn't be held against them. They do what they are best suited for, and they satisfy themselves through Maths. They are the ones fixated with Maths. They are lost in themselves and have forgotten the world.
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    (Original post by Smack)
    I don't think we are fixated on maths. In fact it is certainly not taboo to admit in public that you are hopeless at maths - can you imagine how people would react if you admitted you were essentially illiterate?

    To be honest, I can think of exceptionally few people that use above GCSE-level maths in their jobs or as part of adult life. That doesn't make it useless. Otherwise virtually all other subjects - English, social sciences, etc. - would be useless too. A lot of the value in teaching maths is, as clichéd as it sounds, as a mental exercise, in teaching logic and how to think and approach problems.

    The alternative is that we just shut down schooling above 11 and replace it with on-the-job learning. Because you can't pick on maths not being needed by most people but not virtually every other subject too.

    The problem is why are we fixated on Maths. The fault is not Maths by itself, but on our attitudes towards it. Why do we place it on such a high pedestal and use it to measure the success of our education, our potential in the sciences, and our analytical ability?

    The alternative is to scrap off traditional exams (OLs and ALs) altogether. That is also a result of our obsession with Maths. We should only be evaluated based on our researching, analytical, communicating/presenting abilities as well as our ethics and moral principles. Instead of studying for exams like ALs, we should be reading the real world.
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    I agree with him that maths is for specialists. Most people are not intelligent enough to learn maths to a useful level, so don't bother teaching them.

    The implication of that though is we should have something much like the grammar school system.
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    (Original post by Sciatic)
    The problem is why are we fixated on Maths.
    We're not. When I was at school maths was one out of ten subjects I studied for GCSE. 10% of the curriculum is not a lot. I (and some others like me) would certainly have benefited from a lot more maths, maybe upwards of 50%.

    But most were wasting their time with the 10%.
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    (Original post by Plagioclase)
    Looking through the results statistics from Edexcel they're not that far from the average.
    The average for all A levels?


    (Original post by Sciatic)
    Yes, totally agree .... Maths esp pure advanced Maths should not be considered science but just some art. There was a time when I was fully in love with Maths and Maths was my obsession. I did 3 Maths A Levels and got 7 100UMS out of the 18 modules. It was very hard giving up Maths and I suffered withdrawal symptoms.

    Glad I moved on. Maths is what a selfish person does, and I don't blame mathematicians. That is what they are, their natures shouldn't be held against them. They do what they are best suited for, and they satisfy themselves through Maths. They are the ones fixated with Maths. They are lost in themselves and have forgotten the world.
    I don't see how you have come to that conclusion..
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    (Original post by 13 1 20 8 42)
    The average for all A levels?
    Yeah. The A % is a bit high (like 5-10% above the average) but the A* % is pretty normal.
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    (Original post by TheNote)
    Chemistry uni student here

    In uni you willmost likely use integration, trionometry is used in a vast number of things such as construction, you are also getting passive benifits such as learning to think constructively about problems, you will spot patterns easier etc.

    Maths has many benifits, often you will need to take it beyond A-level to spot them, but there are a lot of passive benifits that you wont spot.
    At uni anyone who did maths does much better than those who havn't in my course.

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    I know I'll need some, like I said the obvious stuff but there is parts we learn and everyone is questioning why. Most people in my class won't do Adv. Higher as its not easy and quite complex, plus our maths teacher has made it out to be only for certain pupils and spends most of her time devoted to helping them than us who won't do it.

    I want to do Vet Physio, and I know I'll need a certain amount but why do I need to learn (this is just an example) circles and never learn how to pay bills, etc. It's something that we don't get taught up here, maybe one day out of S6.
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    (Original post by Zacken)
    Something that's along the same lines but is actually a pleasant read: https://www.maa.org/external_archive...artsLament.pdf
    Thanks for the article.

    I was reminded at one point of this great video about maths education:

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    (Original post by chazwomaq)
    Thanks for the article.

    I was reminded at one point of this great video about maths education:
    I've watched the first two minutes, this seems like a good watch, will finish it off - thanks!
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    (Original post by KhaleesiStorm)
    I know I'll need some, like I said the obvious stuff but there is parts we learn and everyone is questioning why. Most people in my class won't do Adv. Higher as its not easy and quite complex, plus our maths teacher has made it out to be only for certain pupils and spends most of her time devoted to helping them than us who won't do it.

    I want to do Vet Physio, and I know I'll need a certain amount but why do I need to learn (this is just an example) circles and never learn how to pay bills, etc. It's something that we don't get taught up here, maybe one day out of S6.
    because paying bills is easy as pie, who is telling you paying bills is hard?

    So your complaint is that you wish math courses were more dumbed down so you don't have to learn "useless" stuff? okay let me try to explain it to you, the current Math A-level is there to cover all the bases so whether your doing vet stuff or if you're doing pure math at Uni it will be covered by the course.

    Also, i'm not sure how much you know about running a business but since my dad runs one i'll let you in on a secret, while my dad may not care about trigonometry he does care about your work ethic, any tom **** or harry can do Home Econ, however maths is hard and takes a certain level of work in order to get a good grade, thus while he may not care about what you did in your course he cares a lot that you got through it and he cares that you got a good grade on the hard course. The minute you start removing the hard/challenging stuff you get an easier course that employers don't care about.
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    Looking at the maths issue as one who works in accountancy and sat their last university maths exam in 1983 and their last university statistics exam in 1985, often the reality is that he is correct.

    There is very little actual maths skills I have used in the intervening 30 years, some work on sampling and confidence intervals, regression and correlation, the occasional need to reduce a problem to a simple piece of algebra, but since excel came along really only if it is so straightforward it is faster doing on paper, a little bit of calculus re business finance (sometimes more to understand a theory than to apply). Reality is it is arithmetic, fractions, ratios that dominate as actual skills used, these are school subjects from what was then O level arithmetic (In Scotland a distinct O level from maths)

    I do not disparage maths, large numbers of careers use it all the time in sciences/engineering/architecture etc, I have used basic geometry at times to work out land areas of difficult shaped property sites (Split into shapes like rectangles / triangles etc to work out area) but for a lot of people it is really not used, three dimensional vectors, Mclaurin / Taylor, trig functions are now all distant memories.

    When my children were in secondary I helped them with their maths, I was still okay up to 4th year (Standard/Int 2) but at Higher I soon appreciated that whilst I was familiar it was mainly forgotten and hired a tutor.

    My slight caveat though is that being comfortable with the ideas is probably useful and the world is changing at a fair lick as to what is needed in the workplace, so I must admit if I were recruiting I might well want someone with Higher/Advanced Higher, not because I want them to solve maths problems but because it tends to demonstrate a certain rigour in how they think and demonstrates they can master something both abstract and technical; the most important employee skill is their ability to learn.
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    (Original post by Observatory)
    I agree with him that maths is for specialists. Most people are not intelligent enough to learn maths to a useful level, so don't bother teaching them.

    The implication of that though is we should have something much like the grammar school system.
    The article is specifically talking about primary level stuff like calculating a mean, or the area of a circle though, if you follow the link it includes percentages and fraction. how are you going to work out who to let in to your grammar schools if you haven't tried teaching them anything first?

    old 11+ questions http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/arti...mily-test.html
 
 
 
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