TED Conversations

Michael Froemmcke


This conversation is closed.

What does the average citizen need maths for?

I had a conventional education. In school and later at other educational institutions I was always just mediocre - but I became excellent at this - and as the years went buy I asked myself why the educational systems around the world seem to be promoting the same subjects.


Topics: curriculum

Closing Statement from Michael Froemmcke

I can understand that people, especially those who spent long years learning maths, are very passionate about the subject. Yet I am still not convinced that the actual outcome justifies the effort and, in some cases, pain associated with this subject. There seems to be widespread reluctance to even contemplate any alternatives, which reinforces my suspicion that most people are indoctrinated in believing that there is no good education without maths. I think the understanding of certain principles is far more important than an intricate knowledge of mathematics.... But this is just my opinion. Thanks to all the participants in this minor debate.

Showing single comment thread. View the full conversation.

  • Jan 25 2013: Hey man, math IS taught for average citizens! ;-)
    ..I am an average citizen, since until when I was showed what can possibly be done with (advanced) math I didn't even think that something like that could be possible. After long training I can use these instruments well and understand them, and I've got all the opportunities of an average citizen to build upon my skills.. ..not only in my job, in my daily life too.. and how many hobbies today do not involve math, when hi-tech and knowledge are so pervasive and high-level? how else would you defend yourself from fraud people, just by being constantly suspicious?

    Imho, real non-average citizens can figure out their way even without being taught how to, that's how they managed to discover properties and prove theorems in the past, at least.

    Is it abstract? Yes.
    Is it difficult to create? Yes.
    Is it difficult to imitate/understand? No: Consciousness is Abstraction! Things become difficult only when you've become lazy enough to stop this abstraction process for a while, loosing the consciousness of the meaning underneath.

    To me how is taught today is good enough.

Showing single comment thread. View the full conversation.