The Instigator
kalyse020908
Pro (for)
Winning
7 Points
The Contender
johngriswald
Con (against)
Losing
0 Points

Be it resolved that grade 11 math is not mandatory in Canadian high schools

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 2 votes the winner is...
kalyse020908
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 11/18/2009 Category: Education
Updated: 7 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 4,793 times Debate No: 10170
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (19)
Votes (2)

 

kalyse020908

Pro

In this debate, my opponent is to take the stance that grade 11 math should be required in Canadian high schools. I will say that I do believe this course should not be offered, but not mandatory.
Definitions:
Mandatory - authoritatively ordered; obligatory; compulsory (1)
High school - A secondary school that usually includes grades 9 or 10 through 12. (1)

============================
Argument 1: When applying to University, they regard at your grade 11 marks
============================
This argument more applies to students in a nonsemestered school, but it both cases it works. When applying to Universities, you usually apply around November, in either your grade 12 or 5th year. Since it is only 3 months into school, grade 12's do not have marks that reflect their ability as of then. In resolution, most universities look at their grade 11 marks and average. Due to the fact that grade 11 math is mandatory, it may bring down a students average and may hinder on the students profile.
=========================
Argument 2: Some math is not very relative to reality
=========================
An example of a high school grade 11 math curriculum is as follows(2):
1.Algebraic Skills
2.Transformation of Functions
3.Quadratic Functions
4.Rational Exponents and the Exponential Function
5.Trigonometric Ratios
6.Trigonometric Functions
7.Trigonometric Equations and Identities
8.Sequences and Series

Unless you want to study in a field that is math related, these units seldom affect every day life, for this reason, I think it should not be mandatory. How often do you see f(x) in your daily life routine? or the quadratic formula? These things are forgotten very often with age due to the fact that it is not used on a daily basis, or at all. We should not be forced to study something that is so complex to some. If it is not used on a daily basis, I myself do not see why it should be mandatory.

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Argument 3: Math is meticulous
==============
Most of the grade 11 math concepts are already introduced in the mandatory grade 10 curriculum. This means that you have the knowledge of some of the grade 11 curriculum and the grade 11 course builds on that knowledge. It should be your free will to want to explore more into the field of math, not forced upon us. As for grade 9 and 10, they mostly introduce new material, so for this reason only they should be mandatory. Also, if the grade 11 math course is to build upon and further the knowledge of the grade 10 course, say if you did not comprehend grade 10 math very well, you do not have much to build on. Hence why again, it should be an elected course, not compulsory.

================
Conclusion
================
In conclusion, I have given three valid arguments as to why grade 11 math should not be mandatory in Canadian high schools. The course should be taken under free will and not have to be forced upon students while attending high school.

(1) www.thefreedictionary.com
(2) http://wci.wrdsb.on.ca...
johngriswald

Con

I would like to thank my opponent for his interesting debate topic.

I affirm that 11th Grade math should be required in Canadian high schools
I would also like to accept both of my opponents definitions as being accurate.

Argument 1 - High school's objective is not to make students look like they are mensa-level geniuses on their high school transcripts. It is to build the foundations for real life, and to give college students an upper-hand when it comes to taking on college courses. Contrary to some subjects Math uses a different aspect of the mind, logic. The ability to reason and take variables and decide which course to take to come up with a correct solution. Math is designed to weed out students who don't work hard or study hard enough. While some people may have a natural advantage in math, those same people may not have an advantage in another subject. Why should math be voluntary but another subject be mandatory? Should we not all be subjected to the different aspects of knowledge?

Argument 2 -
I consider reality to be all of the following: Work (the math you stated applies to Physics, Accounting, Architecture, Engineers, Pharmacists, Those working in a business, Criminal Justice, Forensic Investigation, etc. A large quantity of the top performing jobs in America require the math concepts you just illustrated.), Making a budget, writing your own retirement plan. Furthermore, highschool calculus, and highschool physics courses rely a great deal on skills 1, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7.

If you make math mandatory as is natural with any student looking to get into a better college will select 2 incredibly easy electives that will teach them nothing in order to get better grades.

"Unless you want to study in a field that is math related"
My opponent in this statement is presuming to make the conjecture that over half of 11th grade high school students will keep the same major.

About 25 percent of college freshmen enter as undeclared, according to Issues in Advising the Undecided College Student.

"Although some students simply don't declare a major, others have a certain major at the start of college and a different major at the end.

For instance, April Navarro of Crest Hill, a graduate student at University of Illinois in Chicago, wanted to major in psychology, or so she thought. "I ended up changing my major three times. I changed from psychology to history and finally to criminal justice," she said.

Randy M. Miller, chairman of ReadyMinds, a program that counsels college students, said that changing college majors is common. He said 75 percent of students change their major at least once. "
SOURCE: http://www.readyminds.com...

CONCLUSION

Thus, with the plurality of college students being unsure of their major/changing it, why on earth would we not mandate a subject which is crucial to the majority of majors and jobs? By not mandating algebra, most highschool students will not take it because of its difficulty, this will increase the average GPA of students nation-wide which will in turn make useless my opponents main argument against it.

I will not even respond to the third argument because it is whining and is purely opinionated. It is not factual and thus has no place in this debate. I thank my opponent again for his argument and would like to wish him luck with the rest of the debate.
Debate Round No. 1
kalyse020908

Pro

Thank you to my opponent for accepting the debate, although I would like to point out that I am of the female sex, but that is irrelevant to the debate.

Argument 1 - In the above you state ' Contrary to some subjects Math uses a different aspect of the mind, logic'. I agree that Math uses logic, but in turn so does Chemistry and Physics, which are elected courses, not mandatory. I am simply saying that Math should go under the same circumstances as being an elected course. The following statement is a personal belief; ' Math is designed to weed out students who don't work hard or study hard enough'. No where is it stated on any curriculum that this is the purpose of the course. Students may do their homework and study in every other course EXCEPT math. Does that make them a student whom 'doesn't study hard enough'? As well, you state that it gives college students an upper-hand, which is not necessarily true. It is the combination of courses that you take that can give you the upper-hand. Such as taking Maths and Sciences and such other courses. Solely Math will not give you the upper hand, unless you're going into a pure math field.
Yes, everyone should be subjected to different aspects of knowledge hence why, in grade school, we could not choose our courses. As well in grade 9 and 10, Math is mandatory. In Canadian schools, once you reach grade 11, all mandatory courses drop except for Math and English, and in this debate, I believe Math should be dropped and be elected by individuals, not preordained.

Argument 2 -
Your opinion from reality and my opinion from reality differ. Not all occupations entail high level math on a daily basis. I would like to dispute your reference to Accounting due to it uses Math that is learned earlier on in life, such as adding subtracting etc. It does not use complex formulas such as some of the examples I stated above. For your reference to 'Making a budget', there are people whom have jobs to do so. If people wanted to create such things, they would plan on taking the ELECTED grade 11 math to help with such various thing, but every individual creation that you had stated can be done by someone whom is employed to do so and has chosen to take that path of mathematics.
I also do not dispute the fact that students change their majors very often, but I am saying it should be the students choice as of grade 11 whether or not they would prefer to expand their knowledge on mathematics, or choose not to do so.

Argument 3-
This argument is against your conclusion. You conclude that 'most high school students will not take it', which I beg to differ. If they have planned out their potential career, they would have possibly looked into requirements for the program, and if math was needed, they would most likely take it.

I disagree that my last argument was 'whining' and is 'purely' opinionated. Ask any math student or teacher and you will realize that some math is meticulous. Students just don't learn Algebra right off the bat, they expand off of previous lessons to achieve the higher level of math, hence being meticulous. But my opponent feels the need to drop it, so it will be dropped.
johngriswald

Con

I apologize for my mistake in terms of the sex of my opponent.

Argument 1 - My opponent agrees that math uses logic however he suggests that Physics and Chemistry make use of logic and are not mandatory thus we should have no mandatory subject that deals with logic. What my opponent fails to understand is that Physics and Chemistry do not make use of logic, instead they make use of math, particularly math 11 (algebra in chemistry, trigonometry in physics).

"Students may do their homework and study in every other course EXCEPT math."
Ahh but in other subjects homework and studying consists of memorization. Math consists mainly in terms of practice with logical concepts.

"As well, you state that it gives college students an upper-hand, which is not necessarily true. It is the combination of courses that you take that can give you the upper-hand. Such as taking Maths and Sciences and such other courses. Solely Math will not give you the upper hand, unless you're going into a pure math field."

One cannot understand the sciences without a proper understanding of math, particularly math 11. Math as I explained is applicable in a variety of fields that are not a math major. My opponent quite advantageously ignored this part of my debate which says: "the math you stated applies to Physics, Accounting, Architecture, Engineers, Pharmacists, Those working in a business, Criminal Justice, Forensic Investigation, etc. A large quantity of the top performing jobs in America require the math concepts you just illustrated."

My opponent also misunderstood the meaning of upper-hand either mistakenly or purposefully to advance him in this debate. Let me define:

Upper-hand: Given an advantage over

In this case if one were to have the upper-hand because of their math skills, their math skills would be better than that of their opponent.

"Yes, everyone should be subjected to different aspects of knowledge hence why, in grade school, we could not choose our courses. As well in grade 9 and 10, Math is mandatory. In Canadian schools, once you reach grade 11, all mandatory courses drop except for Math and English, and in this debate, I believe Math should be dropped and be elected by individuals, not preordained."

What you believe is irrelevant to this debate. Math and English are directly applicable to real life in addition to a wide variety of majors which is why they are mandated. They are also difficult subjects which other students would not take unless mandated.

Argument 2

"Not all occupations entail high level math on a daily basis"
I never stated that all occupations used a high level of math on a daily basis, so I don't know why you would accuse me of such. I said that math is used by a wide volume of majors and has a wide variety of applications in life. Upon listing many places where math is applicable you dismissed them as being useless because other people "have jobs to do so" However with this line of reasoning, everything in life becomes useless.

"If people wanted to create such things, they would plan on taking the ELECTED grade 11 math to help with such various thing"

"If they have planned out their potential career, they would have possibly looked into requirements for the program, and if math was needed, they would most likely take it.

You completely ignored the factual evidence that shows that the majority of 11th grade students have no clue what they want to do and the ones who do change their mind. As stated above 25% of students enter college undeclared, and 75% of college students change their major. You are making a false assumption that everyone in high school has their entire future mapped out. I think even you can agree that this assertion is entirely false. You have ignored that part of my debate, perhaps for your own advantage.

Good luck on the last round
Debate Round No. 2
kalyse020908

Pro

I would like to state as the last part of my debate that I do not ignore facts presented by the opposition on purpose, or to 'suit' my advantage, it was merely overlooked and I apologize for doing so.

Argument 1 -
I strongly disagree with your statement that Physics and Chemistry do not use logic, and I have present a source that as well agrees. 'Science uses logic to a great advantage. Like math, science uses abstractions to make sense of reality and then applies logic to these abstractions.' (1) You were correct that they make use of math, but they have their own logic as well. With Chemistry, you also use more simple math that you have already learned in previous years, or else the course would not be offered until after the completion of grade 11 mathematics, which this is not the case.
My opponent comes off as though he believes memorization is not one of the many key elements what so ever in math, when in reality it is. 'Problem-solving skills as well as a foundation of 'math facts' that come from memorization'(2) 'Many people think that once they take a glance at a formula, it is in their mind, but when they wake up the next day, they are shocked to realize that the formula leaked out during the night. This is why it is a good idea to practice solving a problem with the formula without looking it up. You must do this as many times as you can. Repetition leads to Memorization. ' (3)
This statement agrees with and refutes my opponent. The last line says it all; Repetition leads to memorization. So in essence, Math can be characterized with memorization as well.

I am going to drop the argument over the 'upper-hand' due to its the last round and I do not find it that relevant.

Chemistry is applicable to real life, glucose is C6H12O6. This applies to real life scenarios but is it mandatory? No. Is it an elective? Yes. So why should Maths not be characterized under this standard as well. You say that Math and English are 'difficult subjects'. I will refute this due to that's a personal opinion and that is irrelevant to this debate. It is in the eye of the beholder.

I did not intentionally accuse you of saying all occupations use a high level of math. It was meant as a statement. But you seem to intentionally accuse me of saying they are useless jobs, when I have never said that through out this debate. Please refer to round 2 to inform me if I am wrong. I believe all these jobs play a vital role in life, all of them are used at some point in a lifetime or else they would not exist as an occupation.

I agree the assertion that 'everyone' doesn't have their life planned out, but that was not my point. If a student does not excel at math and doesn't enjoy it, they would most likely refrain from entering a field such as that entails it. Hence why, math should be an elective, not a mandatory grade 11 course.

Thank you for taking part in my first debate on this site, VOTE PRO !

(1) http://www.dummies.com...
(2) http://school.familyeducation.com...
(3) http://www.wikihow.com...
johngriswald

Con

I would like to thank my opponent for her continuous prompt responses which have made this debate an intense short process instead of a boring drawn out one.

My opponent agrees that math is used both in chemistry and physics. While she can strongly disagree all she wants and produce weak sources that primarily state an opinion, Physics and Chemistry's prime source of logic is divined from math. She never states what "their own source of logic" actually is. Also anyone who has taken chemistry knows that it requires advanced algebraic concepts which my opponent stated was a part of Math 11.

My opponent apparently has also misunderstood my point about math. One can memorize all the formulas they want, but if they do not know where they apply and to what type of problem they are utterly useless. One cannot memorize the way to do a trigonometric proof. They are each different and each require logic to sort out and work backwards. One weak source that makes a point about the memorization of equations does not mean that math is pure memorization.

If your only example that chemistry is applicable to real life is that glucose is C6H12O6, then I'm afraid I don't see or understand your point? How is that helpful or applicable?

When I said math and english are difficult subjects, meaning they are difficult in contrast to easy electives that will be taken in their place such as culinary arts, or media. In no place in this debate did I even make reference to the fact that you said that the jobs were useless. I was simply making a point that if you dismiss life skills because "there are jobs for that" then everything in comparison becomes useless as jobs can be made for any life skill. Sure you can hire someone to drive your car for you, but are you saying it is useless to learn to drive a car?

It does not matter whether or not it was your "point". The argument that 11th graders have no clue about what their major or job will be and the evidence that supports it plays a crucial role in this debate. By advocating that an 11th grader should have a choice in deciding their high school courses (which the gist of your argument was because it requires too much work and gives you a bad grade) you are essentially saying that 11th graders know what their major selection will be and whether or not it will entail math based on the fact that they did like/did not like their high school trigonometry course which can be entirely subjective on the teacher, school, etc.

By agreeing that 11th graders can't see into the future to their jobs/future likes/major decisions, you are basically saying that students have no clue what they want to do, but its ok to let them severely limit their major, and sub-sequentially their future job choices based upon their 11th grade likes and dislikes and their fears about there high school transcripts.

My opponent is basically allowing 11th graders to make crucial life decisions that will effect them farther down the road when they want to select a major and eventually select a job. Even if there minds change they will not get into their major/job because they will not have the math knowledge. She would allow 11th graders to be swayed away from math because they "aren't naturally good at it" or perhaps fear for their college transcripts, or maybe they just don't want to work because the work is "too tedious". For whatever reason, my opponent has provided no good reason to support his affirmation that hasn't been defeated by me, the CON. Thus I respectfully urge all voters to vote CON because the PRO did not thoroughly support her resolution, and instead has decided to ignore crucial attacks upon her resolution because it wasn't her "original point".

I would like to thank my opponent for my first debate as well, and would like to welcome her to Debate.org
Debate Round No. 3
19 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by Neumax 7 years ago
Neumax
They make it mandatory because the skills you build in problem solving and critical thinking CAN help you in everyday life after you're finished with high school. The same goes with sciences and other courses that require you to think critically.

In Alberta, they removed the written response sections on the Math and Science Diplomas because anybody can reason the answer of a multiple choice question using the critical thinking/problem solving skills that they acquired through these courses.
Posted by kalyse020908 7 years ago
kalyse020908
Yes, thank you daniel_t for the insightful information. I will use this constructive criticism to improve my future debates.
Posted by johngriswald 7 years ago
johngriswald
I appreciate your reasons for your opinion daniel_t, it really adds and helps me and my opponent improve. You should continue such insightful comments on any other debates you have voted on, because they can only improve everyone on this site.
Posted by daniel_t 7 years ago
daniel_t
I gave the "more convincing arguments" to pro and "most reliable sources" a tie. Frankly though, I don't think Con's source supported his argument very well while pro's did.

I'm going to assume that johngriswald, at least, wants more detail than the above...

Pro's argument 1, IMHO was pretty weak. Colleges don't just look at your GPA, they also look at *what* courses you took. Who's to say that a college is going to be more likely to accept someone with a slightly higher GPA who didn't take 11th grade math? Unfortunately, Con didn't attack the argument's lack of evidence, instead he took it as a given and argued along the lines of "Why should math be voluntary but another subject be mandatory?" Neglecting the fact that Pro never claimed that any other subject should be mandatory.

Pro's argument 2 was much stronger. She outlined specific skills taught and sourced the information. Frankly, it has been my experience that her assertion here is correct, even for me who happens to program computers for a living. Con could have provided sources that denied Pro's assertion, but since he didn't I can only rely on my personal experience.

Con never addressed pro's argument 3 which was also pretty strong, and I am running out of space. Con's principle argument was that most professions require math (with no source to back that up,) and kids don't know what they are going to be doing 5 or 10 years later. Without sources to back up the former, I have to go with my experience which says he is wrong; and for the latter, 30 year olds don't know what they are going to be doing 5-10 years in the future either so I don't see where that matters.
Posted by johngriswald 7 years ago
johngriswald
I would appreciate some reasons for decisions for all votes cast. Don't just randomly vote as that benefits no one. Give reasons so both debaters can learn from their mistakes and learn what they did right/wrong. Make this site better by giving reasons for your decisions.
Posted by kalyse020908 7 years ago
kalyse020908
No, it does not matter what sex I am, and I beleive that people are not voting based on that. They gain nothing by doing so.
and thank you nails, I noticed that as well.
It is just common courtesy. It really doesn't matter anyway.
Posted by johngriswald 7 years ago
johngriswald
Does it really matter what sex my opponent is, seriously? If that is what you're basing your vote on, do me and the rest of this website a favor and refrain from voting in the future. The debate should be judged based upon the content of the debate and the validity of the arguments being used.
Posted by Nails 7 years ago
Nails
Arguments and Conduct to PRO.

"I apologize for my mistake in terms of the sex of my opponent.

Argument 1 - My opponent agrees that math uses logic however he suggests that Physics and Chemistry..."

I can't say that your apology seems sincere when you use 'he' again in the next sentence...
Posted by MikeLoviN 7 years ago
MikeLoviN
I suppose that being in engineering my view is a bit biased, but i remember having a similar mindset when I was in high school (thinking that what we were being taught wasn't relevant to real life applications). But the fact of the matter is that math is one of a very few number of subjects taught in high school that forces you to actually understand the concepts and not just memorize things from a textbook.

I don't know what you plan on doing in the future but any form of science, economics/business will rely fairly heavily on the basics taught in grade 11 (and 12) math. Even if you're not directly proving trig identities or graphing exponential functions, the value of math is that it forces you to understand a problem before trying to tackle it.

BTW, im sorry if I came off as a bit of an @sshole in my last post, age has nothing to do with it, its just a matter of experience and mine has led me to a conclusion that's different then yours. But i guess hindsight is always 20/20. Good job on your first debate.
Posted by kalyse020908 7 years ago
kalyse020908
The choice*, I aplogogize for using the wrong tence of the word unintentionally.
2 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Vote Placed by daniel_t 7 years ago
daniel_t
kalyse020908johngriswaldTied
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Total points awarded:30 
Vote Placed by Nails 7 years ago
Nails
kalyse020908johngriswaldTied
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Total points awarded:40