03 January 2015

The Importance of Mathematics

The Importance of Mathematics - Mathematics has long been recognized as one of the most essential subjects in education. The reason for this recognition becomes obvious when we think of how often mathematics is used and how many situations there are in which mathematics means the difference between success or failure, life or death. For example, a wedding cake will be made large enough to feed a hundred guests only if the baker’s calculations have been correct; a family will be able to make payments on a refrigerator or buy shoes and clothes for the children only by budgeting the family’s income; and the safety of an aircraft depends on the mathematical calculations of aeronautical engineers. All human endeavors—agriculture, industry, trades, technology, law, sciences, crafts, and arts, for example—use this amazing branch of study in various ways. 

The Importance of Mathematics
The Importance of Mathematics

All students need to develop proficiency in mathematics. Students must learn how to think logically and solve meaningful, challenging problems. They must understand the depth and breadth of mathematical concepts and perform simple, complex, and abstract calculations accurately.

Even if students do not pursue careers that demand the study of advanced mathematics, they will find that knowledge of mathematics is essential for success in many occupations and professions. With an understanding of mathematics, students can consider numerous career options. They must have access to high-quality mathematics programs that give them opportunities to choose from a full range of future career paths. Although this ideal will not be easy to achieve, to strive for less would be a disservice to California’s students and to society. 

The Importance of Mathematics

A solid grasp of mathematics gives students competence and self-assurance in the practical matters of everyday life: balancing a checkbook, purchasing a car, managing a food budget, serving as treasurer for a club or other organization, or understanding the daily news. Further, they will recognize the interdependence of mathematics and music, art, architecture, science, philosophy, and other disciplines and will become lifelong students of mathematics regardless of the careers they pursue.

Proficiency in most of mathematics is not an inborn characteristic; it is a consequence of persistence, effort, practice, support, encouragement, and effective instruction. Today, the challenges for parents and educators are to expect more from students in mathematics, raise the bar for student achievement through a more rigorous curriculum and instruction, and provide the support necessary for all students to meet or exceed those expectations. The mastery of a challenging subject area allows students to gain confidence and satisfaction in learning.

In this handbook parents will find numerous suggestions for home or family activities that can help students succeed in mathematics. They will also find an overview of California’s mathematics curriculum and the mathematics requirements for high school graduation and college/university admission. The final section of the handbook offers sample resources that support students’ mathematics education at home and in school.

The Importance of Mathematics - Parent Handbook for Mathematics


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