Mathematics is an abstract subject, but at the same time, one of the most
practical subjects taught in schools today. Every student studies mathematics
to some level; it is a survival skill, like reading.
If you can’t read, you are disempowered in today’s society. Also, without a good understanding of basic mathematics you cannot manage or protect your financial interests. These are the two essential skills every student needs to learn during their school career. Unfortunately many students leave school after 11 or more years, sadly lacking in both areas.
For a discussion of the strategies that Master Coaching uses to ensure students success in mathematics studies, see Mathematics Help. In this article we look beyond that, to the logic of learning mathematics.
Once the most important part of mathematics was being numerate, able to do simple calculations such as multiplication, division, and having a working knowledge of decimals, fractions and percentages. The introduction of the calculator completely changed this. Now calculators are so common most mobile phones have a simple scientific calculator.
The problem with reliance on calculators is many people today have little or no number concept. They can be over-charged massively without even realising it. Prior to calculators most people had a feel for numbers and were more easily able to recognise when numbers quoted were inflated or wrong.
The shift in mathematics has been away from a thorough understanding of, and skill level in calculation to other branches of the subject.