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Nov 28, 2016 11:51 AM EST

Here's One Secret To Make Students Like Math

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The US has a literacy problem when it comes to Math. Research and studies have revealed that the US even ranked below the Czech Republic and Singapore when it comes to financial literacy. In the lower level, even the students are scoring poorly and arriving at college ill-prepared. At the heart of all these comes the fact that a lot of students hate math. So here's one secret to make students like math: stop teaching it.

There are basically four reasons why children are required to study math: to get them to high school or college; to help them with their everyday chores, such as buying groceries; to get a job at a tech company; and as a tool to understand the world more.

However, closely looking at these four reasons seem to suggest otherwise. For example, research has shown that children naturally learn math just by spending time with people who use it and by doing everyday tasks. This is further proven by illiterate children who peddle goods on the streets but know how to count money.

For those who are interested in pursuing higher math, such as in finance and technology, can do so later in life. In fact, those who invent new industries barely use the math they learn from school.

Math can indeed strengthen the mind in a way that is different from how the mind gets stimulated when reading a novel or conducting some science experiment. However, these types of intellectual strengths are not necessarily limited to numbers. Advanced math allows students to think logically, use their creative thinking to find solutions, and give way to uncertainty.

Therefore, instead of getting a good score in algebra, children should be given more time to let their minds develop from concrete to abstract thinking. Moreover, instead of teaching them math, their formative years should be focused in reading. Research has shown that children who read develop logical and conceptual thinking not seen in those who read.

So what to do? Set aside at least 20 minutes a day to teach math to kids until they reach third grade. Then, the rest of the time should be devoted on reading and activities that let them exercise abstract thinking and problem solving.

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