why do we learn algebra in school

You should learn algebra, and master it, if you want to be successful; algebra is essential. WeБve all heard the mythologies for not having to learn algebra from bored high school students and the New York Times. However, here is a look at a different set of myths concerning why you should learn algebra. You should study algebra because. math is inherently beautiful
You should study algebra because. it will help you develop critical thinking skills You should study algebra because. youБll use it directly on the job It doesnБt take long to figure out that these myths arenБt fully satisfying. Most students will inquire as to the purpose of learning algebra and the vast majority of them will be given an answer that does not provide purpose and context but rather underscores to the student that even БweБ (the parents, the educators, etc. ) donБt know why we teach algebra. Math is beautiful said few high school students ever. IБm going to guess that the only people who say that math is beautiful are high school or college math teachers. Seriously, telling students that they should study algebra because itБs beautiful will only serve to further disillusion them with the very thing we want them to learn. Yes, math is beautiful but that isnБt why we should learn algebra. Critical thinking skills are a basic skillset that is developed in a variety of ways. Learning to read develops critical thinking skills. Reading challenging books develops critical thinking skills. Learning to БreadБ music and play an instrument develops critical thinking skills.


Learning logic and rhetoric develops critical thinking skills. I think you are starting to get the picture. Learning algebra does have limited value in sharpening critical thinking skills but that is hardly a good enough answer to the studentБs question of Бwhy must I learn this? Б For the final myth, letБs be honest; how many of us actually use algebra directly on the job? IБve spoken with carpenters who regularly use trigonometry and many who only use basic arithmetic and are successful carpenters. Most students who have even a vague idea of what industry they want to work in will already know if advanced algebra will be required in that line of work. There are some careers out there that rely on algebra everyday and if a student is interested in those careers, focusing on algebra is a must. But for everyone else, saying БyouБll use it at workБ, while occasionally true, is an easily spotted myth. 1. Speed: We can directly use algebra to solve problems more quickly and easily than we could do otherwise. For example, a simple algebraic equation can help you make a recipe smaller or when youБre doing home repairs. 2. A Building Block: Algebra can serve as a building block that we can use to learn more advanced math like statistics, calculus, etc. and learn more advanced subjects, like physics, chemistry, etc. Experts say that members of the next generation could change jobs 30-40 times throughout their career, so you donБt know if you will need some of the algebra you learn or not.


Learning algebra is a life skill beneficial for upward mobility. 3. So that we can understand and critically evaluate the math done by others such as reporters, political candidates, insurance salesmen, bank loan officers, etc. People will always use the skills they have to succeed and while you could succeed in some careers without understanding algebra, understanding algebra will make it easier to succeed. Algebra is an important life skill to have if you want to do things quicker, be able to transition easier from career to career, and avoid being taken advantage of by people who can БtwistБ the numbers in their favor. Part three of a four part series on math. Part 1 Бб Part 2 Бб Part 3 Бб Part 4 Бб Basic algebra is used by electricians, engineers, and nearly everyone in between. It s one of the most common and malleable types of mathematics, and it s also one of the most important. From Everyday life decision making, to advanced training in science and technology, the ability to understand and apply Algebra is a stepping stone to a successful journey in life with great opportunities and discoveries. At , our specialized math instructors know how important it is to build a good foundation in algebra, but when should your student start studying it? Students should begin studying basic algebra as soon as possible, as early as eighth grade. Since algebra is known as a gateway subject, it s necessary to have a good foundation in it before moving onto more advanced math concepts like geometry, calculus, and trigonometry.


Another added benefit of beginning algebra early is that your student will have learned geometry by the time they take the PSAT, and this will better prepare them for taking college entrance exams like the SAT/ACT. It s important that each and every student have a strong foundation in algebra, because for everyone, the training in algebra will give them the knowledge and skills for making better decisions in everyday life; and for students going into college, it will set the tone for the rest of their math education. The complex math courses that students will see in college use algebra as a base. If there isn t a strong algebra foundation, many students are required to first take a remedial math class before being allowed to take the math classes in line with their degree, costing extra time and money. If you re not sure whether your child is ready to take algebra, talk to them and their teachers. It s important that they have a strong pre-algebra foundation, and start Algebra early if they re ready. Learning Algebra is achievable for all; however, learning math is like building a house, it s important to build a solid foundation, and take things one step at a time. If you re unsure of when your child should begin learning algebra, or have found out that they have trouble learning the subject, contact the Mathnasium of Ann Arbor learning center today at (734) 408-1118 or email us at annarbor@mathnasium. com to learn more helpful tips and get expert help.

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