Why Learn Math: Twitter Tweets

As a follow up to my post Why Learn Math? I wanted to post some answers from the Twitterverse to the question:

"How will I use this [math/english/science/history/reading/art/etc] in real life? How do you answer?"

iMrsF I like to throw it back at the students and get them brainstorming. (Of course, I sometimes guide a little..)

yuglook I tell them the truth. Most of them will probably never. But learning it teaches them to think logically and all that stuff.

pepepacha Math is like training for a basketball game, it makes you stronger and better but is not always fun nor always useful every day

And my favorite response of all:

k8nowak This is going to be an unpopular response, but that's the rallying cry of a bored kid. When I hear it I know lesson needs work.

This changed my perspective on the whole situation and motivates me even more to design a spectacular class where the thought of this question never occurs because they're doing it in real life as we speak.

As k8nowak goes on to say:

I don't know anyone who got interested in math because it's useful. More like puzzling, surprising, predictive, etc...

To hear more of their great perspectives visit the blogs of iMrsF, yuglook, pepepacha, and k8nowak.

Or tweet tweet.


  1. tracy@dreambox.com5/13/09, 7:21 PM

    It is great point to say no one got into math because it’s useful. It’s hard for students to see through the walls of the classroom. I did just hear a story on NPR’s All Things Considered reporting that teachers are using spreadsheet programs to teach algebra. I think if I had learned my algebra lessons using spreadsheets it would make for a much more realistic application.

  2. Good point. I'm tutoring a student and I had him look up salaries of UFC fighters and draw a graph. Then we're going to put it in Excel and create a graph on there. The figures makes sense because he understands why some fighters get paid more than others. Not exactly real world application, but hopefully engaging at the least.