If we were to make a survey of math attitudes in the public, the results would vary depending from what sector we would be making it. I might propose roughly 3 different responses: 1) My everyday work depends on it, 2) I use it only when my activity might warrant it, 3) I don’t like math.
Attitudes and responses to math depend on conditioning and experience, like most any attitudes. If one is born with a talent, math might not be as problematic as with the rest of the group. But math requires also a skill honed over time. If, for example, the child is taught at home before he even starts formal schooling, he/she may be at a fairly good advantage. The school instructors also play a crucial and long lasting impression on the student. A memory, whether encouraging or discouraging, is imprinted on the individual learner, and at that, for a considerable length of time. That will spell the difference between initiative or simple lack of interest. If the student was rewarded for a right answer to the problem, the school instructor will be playing an important positive learning experience that will last for a long time beyond the school arena.
The instructor should fertilize an environment of openness and adaptability in the classroom and in the student. And there must be an application of the subject learned, an application without which the material may be forgotten. The student must be, thence, a good and practical problem solver. After all, we are to be life-long problem solvers.
This will be it for now. For your info, this post was written on a new Samsung i5 (Third Generation Micro processor) based laptop with 4GB RAM, and 2GB graphics memory. This I purchased just yesterday because the laptop I had been using went bonkers and I would have to replace the hard disk, cooling fan, heat sink, and a new battery as well. This new laptop is on a 1-week test drive. I hope it doesn’t give me any problems. If it does, I’m replacing it.
Stay safe. Be a problem solver.
Fernando Yaakov Lalana, M.D.