The tragedy of SA’s maths education – Soapbox | Moneyweb

A wonderful description of the importance of Mathematics and how it can enhance your life.

Jonathan Jansen: If we don’t stop the free fall in education democracy will implode.

Why is mathematics so fundamental to history, design, art and engineering? Because mathematics is not about numbers. It is about value—practical value, disciplinary value and cultural value (Gauri Dushi). We count and calculate, measure and anticipate, earn and spend, tithe and gamble, wonder and worry, with the aid of mathematics. We design buildings and navigate the universe using mathematics. And it is through mathematics that we learn, from a young age, those values indispensable for democracy—discovery, invention, concentration, alternative solutions, patience, perseverance, discipline, logic, order and economy. Is it possible, I sometimes wonder, that the oft-noted parsimony in the novels of Nobel Laureate, JM Coetzee, might have something to do with his initial training in mathematics? This is after all the man who once delivered a lecture to the Philosophical Society on “Poetry and the language of mathematics.

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