WHY IS MATH IMPORTANT?
By Mrs. Susan Naudé – Department Head of Math by High School Die Wilgers
In today’s modern world, where pupils’ answers only require the pressing of a button, you might wonder why math as a subject is still important. Are algebra and trigonometry still a requirement for success? Probably not, but there is so much more value in math that you might not think about. Below are a few reasons why math as a subject is so important:
Math develops critical thought processes
The different aspects of math teach a pupil important skills that can be used in various other subjects, for example:
• logical reasoning;
• problem solving; and
• creative thinking.
Math teaches you to analyze data by recognizing different patterns, asking relevant questions and resolving methods to obtain your answer. You even learn the ability to test the correctness of your answer!
Math teaches you to use analogical, logical and creative thinking in analyzing a problem and reaching an applicable answer.
Math has practical application
You use math every day, even without realizing it. Whether you are calculating your monthly grocery budget or measuring ingredients for baking, you are using math. Even planning your commute and the time it takes to reach your destination, requires figures and calculations.
To quickly and accurately calculate distance, time, mass and percentages are basic, but very important skills which makes our daily lives easier – and we have math to thank for that.
Math opens several career possibilities
The past few years, the acronym (“Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics”) has featured frequently. All of these fields require advanced knowledge and insight in math, and there is a big shortage of qualified candidates in these career fields. Students that make a success of their studies in math will have several profitable and exciting careers ahead.
Even if you are not interested in a scientific or engineering field, you will soon realize that basically every career uses math calculations in one or other way. Architects, performers, photographers, market researchers and sales people use math in their daily workplaces. If a pupil sticks with math until grade 12, they will have a wider field of career opportunities after school.
Math is a universal language
The basic fundamentals and laws of math help us to describe and understand the world around us. In essence, math is not only the language of the universe but it is also a universal language.
To count or form new algorithms, is the same in any language, no matter where you are.
This all forms part of the excitement that math provides!
It is a fact that math is still a challenge for a lot of students, but it remains a very important subject. With a little bit of effort and a lot of exercise, any person can master math as a subject.
(12 September 2018)
High School Die Wilgers has a proud math tradition and offers math on 4 levels: Math (grade 8 – 12), Math Literacy (Grade 10 -12), Technical Math (Grade 10 – 12) and Advanced Math (Grade 9 – 12).
What is the difference between the types of math?
Math is a theoretical subject with practical application. Emphasis is laid on the abstract way of thinking. Students will work with unknows such as x; y; α; β; θ; sin, cos, tan and formulas. Students do require a moderate aptitude for this type of thinking.
Math is required for technical and scientific fields of study.
Math Literacy is a number subject with practical application for daily life. It is a good subject for those who do not specifically require math for their studies. In Math Literacy students will learn to calculate volumes, circumference and area. Water, electricity, telephone billings, bank statements and tax forms are just a few examples.
Technical Math is more focused on studies in a technical field. It is based more on application and less on abstract ideas. The student will be able to study a technical course at an accredited technical college. Technical Math and Technical Science is grouped with Mechanical Technology and IGO. IT, as an additional subject, should be a strong consideration if a student is interested in pursuing this study field.
Advanced Math is offered after hours for an additional fee. Grade 8 and 9 classes is an introduction to Advanced Math. From Grade 10, we follow a specific syllabus. Students successfully completing Advanced Math in Grade 12, will receive a national certificate from the Independent Exam Board.
Prospective first year students taking Advanced Math finds the admission exam and Math 1 at university a lot easier. Advanced Math also provides Grade 12 students an advantage in that a big portion of the Grade 12 syllabus is completed in the Grade 11 Advanced Math course.