Everybody has a head for figures. Anybody in the world can master basic arithmetic to the degree that they will get problems correct 98% of the time. – Keith Devlin, The Math Guy
The way we do math has changed, driven by our changing needs as a society. Math is now taught based on a need to understand the number system and its meaning, as opposed to arithmetic computation, as Devlin explains in this talk.
“You cannot become good at algebra without a mastery of arithmetic,” Devlin says, “but arithmetic itself is no longer the ultimate goal.” Thus the emphasis in teaching mathematics today is on getting people to be sophisticated, algebraic thinkers. To get there, we need to understand the number system and what numbers mean.
What daily life situations do you think can help your child connect math to his or her life?