Friday, September 04, 2009
In an effort to spark mathematical interest in my 11 year old 'girlier-than the other daughters,' I picked up a book from the library called Math Doesn't Suck:How to survive middle school Math by Danica McKellar.
I figured since she likes fashion and style and acting and this book is written by a girl who is an actress and a self proclaimed fashion addict she'd like it.
My daughter's reaction after perusing the book for a few moments? "If they want people to like math they shouldn't have bubble-heads talking about math; it's a stupid book written by a dumb girl who is addicted to boys,dates and shoes."
In the past I have tried to present math in an interesting way. I invest $100 in the Murderous Maths series and that went no where fast. None of my girls picked up these comic,factual and what I consider,fun books.
I've tried to present cool art projects that have a mathematics component;worked on building projects that involve math and measurement. I've attempted to present the kind of math that is exciting and mysterious to me: Fibonacci sequences, the golden rule, phi, math in patterns in nature-and so on. Didn't/doesn't work.
So I question then the reason for why we think everyone should know math. Maybe, like brain surgery or ice-skating or writing novels, math just isn't something everyone is good at or even needs to know! This sounds sacrilegious but I really want to consider this seriously. How much math do we really need to know to get by in this world?