But When Will We Ever Use This Stuff?

If you remember my previous post on why students hate math, I pointed out one particular statement from the article I was referencing :

“In fact, for the majority of jobs, math is not included in the top five qualities that employers seek in their workers.”

I said I’d deal with it later and as it turns out, later is now.

There is so much wrong with this statement that I don’t entirely know where to start. So, in no particular order:

1. I’m sure that employers don’t ask if employees can tie their own shoes or wipe their butts, either. There are certain skills that employers simply assume are there, and that includes math. Even if math is not specified as part of the job requirements, studies show that the very process of learning math causes physical changes that improve brain function.
2. Why should the primary purpose of our public education system be to churn out good worker bees? Thomas Jefferson (you know, the guy who founded the first public university in this country) had quite a few things to say about the value of a good public education system so I won’t quote them all here but will leave you with one of the better ones:

“No one more sincerely wishes the spread of information among mankind than I do, and none has greater confidence in it’s effect towards supporting free & good government.”

3. Since when is there a conflict between being a well-educated citizen of this land (As Our Founders Intended[™]) and being a good employee? Unless, of course, you’re a really, really bad employer.

Anyway, end of rant. Please feel free to sound off in the comments.



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