# why do we learn algebra in school

Do you love? Or are numbers the

of your existence? No matter whether you're a of or not, it's clearly an important subject to. After all, how would you buy food at a grocery store, it, and then divide it amongst your family members without knowing basic? Most of us start our mathematical journey learning the basics of. From there, we move on to subtraction. After we've mastered the pluses and the minuses, we advance to and division. Sooner or later, we all reach the point where we make the into more advanced. What are we talking about? , of course! Some people refer to as the point at which letters get involved in. is a broad of advanced mathematics that involves the study of mathematical symbols and the rules for manipulating those symbols. forms the basis for advanced studies in many fields, including mathematics, science, medicine, and. In its simplest form, involves using equations to find the unknown. Real-life problems probably spurred the development of, which dates back over to the ancient Babylonians. For example, a wagon carrying a load of bales hits a rut in the road and six bales fall off. How many bales of hay were originally on the wagon if 10 are left? The expression x в 6 = 10 would represent the simple algebraic to answer this question. In this, x represents the unknown (how many bales of hay were on the wagon at the start) and equals 16 when the is solved by adding six to each side of the. gets much more than that simple, leaving many students WONDERing when, if ever, they'll use in real life in the future. Does it have any use? If not, why do you have to it? For starters, is for advanced classes, as well as many of the other subjects you'll as you proceed through high school and then college. Learning helps to develop your thinking skills, including problem solving, patterns, and deductive and inductive reasoning.

Many professions, especially those in science and, require an extensive knowledge of. Even if you don't go into one of those fields, you'll probably use without even realizing it! Consider these examples: It's time to fill up your car's gas tank. The price of gas per gallon is $3 and you only have $25 to spend. How much gas can you purchase? This can be answered by the algebraic, 3x = 25. You must divide each side of the by 3 in order to isolate x. In this, x is equal to 25 divided by 3, which is 8. 33 gallons of gas. If you need 10 gallons of gas, how much money do you need? When you solve that, you have to thank! Or how about this example? You would like to purchase service for your home. Company A requires a setup fee of $10 and charges a monthly fee of $25. Company B does not charge a setup fee but charges $26 per month. Which company is less expensive for one year of service? We can find out by first calculating the total cost for Company A: x = $10 + $25*12 (months in a year), which comes to $310. The for Company B is x = $26*12, which totals $312. At first glance, it might have seemed like Company B would be cheaper, because they do not charge a setup fee, but showed us differently! There are many other examples of real-world uses of, from comparing prices on similar products in a grocery store, to figuring out what time you need to leave your house in order to meet a friend across town on time. If you ever WONDER something like, don't be afraid to ask your teacher or parent (or Wonderopolis! ). Odds are, there's a good reason! 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

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