It strains credulity that some people are actually arguing about teaching mathematics. Mathematics is certainly one of the most supreme accomplishments of the human mind. People need to both appreciate that and to be able to do some mathematics. What is needed is more research on fostering mathematical thinking.

Unfortunately, probability and statistics are two subjects missing from most high school curricula. This is a glaring lacuna as we have to deal with probabilities throughout our lives. Consequently, we need to have some facility in understanding probabilities and in making computations. Statistics is another topic we all need. Public policies, health, and scientific topics that lay people should understand require some knowledge of statistics. Trigonometry and calculus are subjects that are taught in high school, yet these topics are needed only in specific areas of study and professions. However, statistics needs to be understood by everyone.

Unfortunately, to understand statistics, one needs to understand algebra at least through quadratic equations. So any students who do complete introductory algebra should be required to take a course in statistics.

So what about students who do not take algebra? Research is required here to provide some rudimentary understanding of both probabilities and statistics without a facility in algebra. Perhaps this can be done through graphics and pictorial representations. Specific applications can be developed to this end. Perhaps students can be fooled into learning statistics via games.

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Tags: high school, Mathematics, probability, Statistics

This entry was posted on August 26, 2016 at 1:37 pm and is filed under Uncategorized. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.
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August 27, 2016 at 11:08 am |

Calculus is popular in universities/colleges but it is somewhat niche. Probability and statistics is more applicable than calculus I would think.

I am not sure which location you refer to with high schools. In my experience, geometry was not emphasized. I think geometry can be very beneficial for engineers, architects and manufacturers. Rectangular prism buildings are kind of boring.

August 30, 2016 at 4:33 am |

conclusion that you are absolutely right but a few require to be