DOES YOUR CHILD HATE MATH BECAUSE YOU DO?

Over the past year, you might have noticed that some of my Blog Posts have had Familial Themes, such as my Retirement (a year ago) or the arrival of our new (and only) Grandchild, Henry. Likewise, the need for life insurance and Wills for new parents. So, as I work through these personal events, I have taken to passing on my ideas.

The linked column, by Laura Kreutzer, from The Wall Street Journal, http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887323550604578412250659406338.html#printMode, points out one side of a very important issue. The U.S. has fallen behind many other countries in the study and application of STEM subjects–Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics. Many of the advances that Human Society has made over the years have come from the proper appreciation of these fields. Also, it tends to be where the better-paying jobs are. Both the Federal and many State Governments have emphasized the importance of STEM, as well.

This column hits close to home for us, since our Daughter works in Interior Design and has an Art Blog, and her Husband is an Art Professor. Needless to say, just like in the linked column, they have plenty of art work and art supplies around their house. So, I suggested that they take the Little Guy–all of two months old–to the science museum.

But, it is important to keep in mind that the STEMs do not exist in a vacuum. Wouldn’t some elements of Geography be necessary for the proper positioning of the landing site for a Moon or Mars Shot? History in the Military would help to–”Know (Understand) Your Enemy”. Logic (Philosophy) in Critical Thinking? Or, the appreciation of Art and Music with regard to the quality of life?

As the column cites, the question is whether the seven-year old girl developed an interest in Art on her own–or it was due to parental influence. It is a good reminder that children should be exposed to all facets of imagination and understanding–not only those of the parents.

Just like we don’t want to miss the next Einstein or Pasteur, our culture would be just as devastated if we didn’t identify the next Shakespeare or Monet. Oddly enough, one of the things that set Stave Jobs apart from the other computer geniuses was the interest in Calligraphy (of all things), which he developed after dropping out of college.

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  1. #1 by Marissa Huber on April 20, 2013 - 1:20 PM

    That was an interesting post, and I have some comments! I think many people forget how much math affects other areas, particularly art and music. The 5/8 beats of music, the mathematical foundation that helps artists when translating perspective into drawings, and the algebra that I use in my knitting to determine gauge and swatch size. Actually, ask any knitter, and they’ll usually tell you that they use algebra all the time! Or look at how the Renaissance masters like DaVinci was equal parts left and right brained for math and arts…

    I agree that we as Americans need to stop reinforcing the stereotype that “math is hard”. Anything is hard if you make a huge deal out of it. Or that math is unneeded. That is not true. Mike and I are both pretty decent in math, which will be good for Henry. Mike even more so. Ha! But I’m better at Geometry (my favorite!).

    I was speaking to a young girl the other day who asked me to guess her favorite subject. I said, “math?!” She said YES! And Science! She wants to be a veterinarian or a singer. Ha! I told her I love math too. One small act to help defeat the misconception that it has to be so hard!

  2. #2 by Marissa Huber on April 20, 2013 - 1:21 PM

    P.S. I love this article from Lisa Bloom on “Talking to Little Girls”. Let’s not just say they’re cute – let’s say, how smart you are!!

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/lisa-bloom/how-to-talk-to-little-gir_b_882510.html

  3. #3 by cheekos on April 20, 2013 - 2:05 PM

    Mariss, in view of the Investigation in the aftermath of the Boston Marathon Bombing, I had been on the fence about doing a Post concerning Math, Akgebra, more specifically.

    After the 9/11 Terrorist Attacks, we heard the Term “Connect the Dots”, with regard to the Investigation afterward. Basically, that is the same as the Critical Thinking, which I have noted before. I will prepare a related Blog in the near future.

  1. MATH…AND “CRITICAL THINKING” | The Truth On Common Sense

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