The importance of teaching math for lifelong success

Math is everywhere. It extends far beyond the confines of the classroom.

Math is an important skill that all students should have the opportunity to learn.

By using effective teaching methods and creating a positive learning environment, we can help all students to succeed in math.

What makes math special is that it’s a universal language — a powerful tool with the same meaning across the globe. Though languages divide our world, numbers unite us.

Why is math important?

Math allows us to work together towards new innovations and ideas. Its significance extends far beyond the confines of the classroom. You’ll see math in every aspect of our daily lives and influencing various fields, including science, technology, engineering, economics, and even art. Math is a fundamental skill that’s essential for success in many areas of life. We also need it when it comes to everyday tasks such as cooking, shopping, and budgeting. It’s also a foundation for many other subjects, such as science and engineering.

Teaching is a tough job. Teaching math is especially difficult because so many students have ideas about how they’re “bad at math” or that they “won’t use math” when they’re older. But great math teachers can show students just how much they can, will, and use math every day.

Here are some reasons why teaching math is so important:

1. Problem Solving and Critical Thinking

Math nurtures our ability to think critically and approach problems logically. It equips us with analytical skills to dissect complex issues into manageable parts and come up with effective solutions. Whether it's calculating the best route for a road trip, managing personal finances, or addressing global challenges, math provides us with the tools to navigate the world with confidence and efficiency.

2. Advancements in Science and Technology

Math is the backbone of scientific exploration and technological innovations. Fields like physics, chemistry, computer science, and engineering rely heavily on mathematical principles to describe natural phenomena, create models, and develop cutting-edge technologies. Without math, we wouldn't have the sophisticated systems and technological advancements that shape our modern world.

3. Economic and Financial Literacy

Money management is an integral part of adult life, and math plays a crucial role in understanding financial concepts. From budgeting and investing to analyzing economic trends, having a solid foundation in math is essential for making informed decisions and securing a stable financial future.

4. Real-world Applications

Math is everywhere in our everyday experiences. From calculating cooking measurements and estimating travel time, to measuring ingredients for a recipe or understanding patterns in data, we rely on math to navigate even the simplest tasks. Moreover, math plays a crucial role in architecture, design, music, and art, adding beauty and precision to creative endeavors.

5. Advancement in STEM Careers

Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) careers are at the forefront of innovation and progress. A strong grasp of math is a necessity for pursuing these fields, which offer promising career opportunities and shape the future of our society. Having a solid foundation in math can open doors to diverse and fulfilling career paths.

6. Logical and Rational Thinking

Studying math develops our capacity for logical and rational thinking. It enables us to approach problems objectively, evaluate evidence, and make sound judgments based on data and facts, fostering a well-rounded approach to decision-making.

7. Empowering Global Citizenship

In an increasingly interconnected world, math plays a role in addressing global challenges such as climate change, sustainable development, and data-driven decision-making. Understanding and applying mathematical concepts empowers us to engage meaningfully in discussions and initiatives that shape our shared future.

Math is not just a subject confined to textbooks; it is an indispensable tool that empowers individuals to explore the world, make informed decisions, and contribute to society's progress. As we deepen our understanding of math's importance, we discover its vast potential to unlock the secrets of the universe and elevate humanity to new heights.

Webinar: From Math by Memorizing to Math by Understanding - the importance of “deep thinking”

Part of our Mission Math Virtual event, this on-demand webinar features Kevin Dykema, President of the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM). Listen along as Kevin explores how reasoning and understanding better meets the needs of our students than memorization of procedures. Join as we look at several examples and discuss what we can do to help our students better engage in this deep thinking.

Why students face challenges in mastering certain math concepts

Many students experience roadblocks and hurdles throughout their math education. You might recognize some of these math struggles below in your classroom. Any challenge is manageable with targeted support and help.

Here are some of the most common math challenges:

Increasing complexity: sometimes the pace of class moves a bit faster than all learners can keep up with. Or the concepts are just too abstract and difficult for them to wrap their mind around in one lesson. Some math ideas simply take more time to learn.

Fear of failure: even as adults, we can feel scared to fail. It’s no surprise that young people experience this same fear, especially with the many other pressures school can bring.

Lack of practice: sometimes, all learners need is a little more practice. But this can be easier said than done. We can help by providing them with plenty of support and encouragement to help them get that practice time in.

Math anxiety: algorithms and complex problems can strike anxiety in the heart of anyone. Math anxiety is a common phenomenon. But with the right coping strategies it can be managed.

Webinar: “But I’m Not a Math Person!”: Equity and Confidence in STEM Subjects with Tinashe Blanchet

Originally recorded during our Mission Math virtual event

Listen along to Texthelp's Product Specialist for Equatio, Tinashe Blanchet and Dr. Marilyn Strutchens talk about on widening STEM participation and engagement. They chat through addressing STEM anxiety and visualizing the real-world applications of math.

What's next?

Making math engaging and fun

We explore strategies that make math captivating for students, transforming the once-dreaded subject into an exciting and approachable adventure.

Teaching math to students with learning differences

Here, we’ll address the challenges faced by students with learning differences, such as dyslexia or dyscalculia, offering valuable insights and adaptable techniques to empower all learners to excel in math.

Promoting Equity in the Math Classroom

Equity is at the core of our educational philosophy, and we delve into creating a math classroom that embraces diversity, fosters inclusivity, and ensures every student has an equal opportunity to succeed.