In many nations, including the developed and developing countries, maths education at the elementary grades does not receive the importance that it should. Beyond the very basics like recognition of the numbers from 0 to 10 and may be a simple addition, subtraction and multiplication as the children progress into year 2 or 3, nothing much is done to kindle a love for maths as a subject.
Come to think of it, can there be one occupation or calling in the modern society that has no involvement of maths at all? One needs at least some maths even for everyday life, from shopping for the daily needs to spending money for a variety of reasons. Undoubtedly, handy gadgets are available to today’s youngsters and of course elders to solve many of their arithmetical questions. But, even to use those devices one still needs simple maths. Therefore, it is very significant for people to enhance or sharp their mathematical skills via an excellent maths tutor help!
What constitutes elementary mathematics?
Arithmetic and geometry are essential components of elementary mathematics. However, in recent years this has also seen a shift to include an emphasis on problem-solving abilities in tune with market realities. We should not forget that the proliferation of technology-based industries including computers and mobile phones are all built on the problem-solving skills of millions of men and women who work behind the scenes. Further elementary mathematics is the stepping stone to understanding science in its multitude of dimensions. As the children progress to the secondary school, the major topics falling under elementary mathematics will include trigonometry, algebra and calculus although these regarded as appropriate for college level students.
Mathematics is a core skill that we need throughout our lives.
There are broadly three areas of our lives requiring using our math knowledge.
- Mathematics constitutes a core skill for our lives.
- Mathematics in the workplace
- Mathematics helps in widening career options
Basic numeracy levels are indispensable for every adult to function competitively in today’s complex world. Mathematical knowledge or understanding of numbers is a crucial attribute for near occupation as an adult. Consider managing personal finances such as your mortgage, insurance, home budgeting, handling data, investments, credit cards, and you have hardly one of these elements that are devoid of basic knowledge of numbers or elementary mathematics. On the other side, we have the digital world which uses statistical arguments for a variety of needs and circumstances. Elementary mathematics plays a critical role in understanding those arguments and participating in informed decision making.
Today’s workplace, in most situations is significantly different from what we saw a few decades ago. Fierce competition apart, every individual is required to be accountable for his/her actions. Undoubtedly, some people specialise in the higher realm of mathematics, but in the workplace, people do need elementary math to understand a plethora of instructions, expected outcomes and so forth. When people do not understand mathematics in the workplace, they can potentially make grave errors that could lead to significant losses for the business and a threat to the individual’s career itself.
Adequate knowledge in math and science are key attributes for which most employers are looking. Again, it is the elementary mathematics skills that come into play here and not the advanced math unless one is seeking a role as a specialist in certain areas. When today’s kids grow into adults and are ready to take on this complex world, they need to be equipped to pursue multiple career options.
Mathematics to drive economic prosperity
Nations, to be competitive in the global economy, need mathematical brilliance in people who run the countries. It is also one of the primary reasons why more and more nations are emphasising on elementary mathematics education coupled with personal finance education right from the elementary grades. In the UK for instance, personal finance education at the school level has now been made compulsory, and many more nations have followed suit. Without elementary mathematics, personal finance education is impossible, and this is yet another reason why elementary mathematics education is not an option, but an abject necessity for individuals and nations to progress.
Elementary math and research
Consider a large number of researchers engaged in finding solutions for a plethora of issues with which humanity is facing. There are several diseases, some of them even life threatening that need continuous research before the human society can rid itself of these diseases. Similarly, in the areas of digital technology, space sciences, automation, supply chain management and more, we need solutions to multiple problems. These solutions just cannot emerge without the help of elementary mathematics, and that is another brownie point in support of elementary mathematics education.
Injecting more fun into learning elementary mathematics is the need of the hour
Let us admit it! Many of our math teachers at the elementary grades are individuals who grew up in an era when the importance of mathematics was not in focus. Therefore, they were allowed the luxury of treating mathematics as a non-core subject and gradually lose interest in the subject. In later years, because of career compulsions they take up teaching jobs and become uninvolved teachers. Thankfully, today, we have access to a wide range of tools from the digital world to make elementary learning mathematics much more fun that it has been ever in the past.
Abacus, for instance, was not heard of until a few decades ago, in most civilisations. But, today it has become such a sought after the system in many cities and towns across the world. One must experience the system to understand how simple learning has become. Thus, we need innovative thinkers to shed the shackles of the past and usher in an era where elementary maths education will be loved and respected by the teachers and students alike.
There are some other ways in which we can inject the fun quotient into elementary mathematics to make it a subject that our children would want to learn and become masters.