Monthly Archives: August 2008

Algebra – it’s everywhere

Algebra – it’s everywhere.

This article argues that algebra can be fun and that algebra is used everywhere (despite what some may think). It gives some great examples at the end of the article. However, the article warns that we have to be careful about how we teach it and our policies towards it…

“Too often, algebra is taught as a set of rules and procedures – the equivalent of teaching a foreign language through vocabulary lists and repetitive conjugation of verbs, the students never understanding they could use the information to order a meal in Madrid or make a friend in China.”

“In fact, if I had to design a mechanism for the express purpose of destroying a child’s natural curiosity and love of pattern-making, I couldn’t possibly do as good a job as is currently being done. I simply wouldn’t have the imagination to come up with the kind of senseless, soul-crushing ideas that constitute contemporary mathematics education.”