The Instigator
The4416Instigator
Pro (for)
Losing
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The Contender
Enji
Con (against)
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10 Points

The American Education System Puts Too Much Emphasis on Mathematics

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after 2 votes the winner is...
Enji
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 5/31/2013 Category: Education
Updated: 4 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 2,553 times Debate No: 34383
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (2)
Votes (2)

 

The4416Instigator

Pro

I'm interested to hear others' opinions on this one. I'll take the Burden of Proof.

Round 1: Acceptance

Round 2: Openings

Round 3: Rebuttals
Enji

Con

I accept this debate. I will be arguing that the American (USA) education system does not put too much emphasis on mathematics.
Debate Round No. 1
The4416Instigator

Pro

First, I thank Con for accepting this debate. I would like to prove my resolution on two points: that the American Education System Overemphasizes Mathematics, and that There Exists a Better Use of Classtime than Mathematical Classes.

1: The American Education System Overemphasizes Mathematics

To begin, one must first understand the goal of the Education system. It is, of course, to prepare its students for a successful life and career. To that extent, the education system also prepares students for college courses. However, the foremost goal of the education system is to prepare its students for a career, and as a public institution, to prepare its students to contribute to society.

The next step, is to analyze how mathematics in the American Educational System furthers the goals of education. The current system, though it differs from state to state, has math as a compulsory course from years K-8 and usually has three years of High School math for all students and four years for those heading for college. In most cases, secondary education mathematics ends with pre-calculus, a course encompassing many different subjects such as complex numbers, conic sections, and trigonometry.

Complex Numbers is a math subject involving those numbers outside the realm of Real numbers, in other words, a number that is on the complex plane and involves the square root of negative numbers. That is inapplicable to most fields, and is an abstract concept that many students quickly forget after education. Conic sections, yet another geometric concept that quickly becomes obsolete after testing.

How exactly do these above subjects contribute to a student's preparation for a future career? Perhaps in specific fields involving design or for those students pursuing a future in mathematics and physics, but then why should students wishing to become prosecution lawyers or English professors have to take mathematics to a level that has little to no connection with most career paths? I hope Con can provide a satisfactory answer to that question.

2: There Exists a Better Use of Class Time than Mathematical Classes

Given my previous statement that the foremost goal of education is to prepare its students for a successful career and contributions to the society, math classes in the American education system are far too specified and discrete from most possible career paths to be an efficient use of school time. The American Education System could use more time for electives, so students can pursue interests earlier in place of math classes that quickly become obsolete. A student interested in a career path in business can spare more time for economics or other electives, while a student with talents in performing arts can choose electives that field.

I look forward to Con's argument and his rebuttal to mine. I wish this be a fruitful and thought-inspiring debate.
Enji

Con

How much is enough?

In order to establish that the American education system puts too much emphasis on mathematics, my opponent must first establish how much emphasis is desirable and then show that the American education system excessively exceeds the desirable amount of emphasis. I will argue that the American education system does not put too much emphasis on mathematics.

International comparison

The US fares poorly on international comparisons of mathematical literacy while remaining somewhat more competitive on comparisons of reading literacy. Notably, the US ranks 15th of 29 in reading (near average) while ranking 25th of 30 in mathematics (far below average) in a comparison of education amongst OECD nations. [1] This indicates that, judging by how much emphasis on mathematics other countries deem desirable, the American education system does not place too much emphasis on mathematics. Instead, it would seem that the American education system does not place enough.

Why is mathematics education important?

Why do other countries place so much emphasis on mathematics? Mathematics plays a central role in scientific research and technological innovation. To quote President Barak Obama on the importance of innovation, “I believe that in order to be globally competitive in the 21st century and to create an American economy that is built to last, we must create an environment where invention, innovation, and industry can flourish.” 2012 Presidential candidate Mitt Romney shares a similar opinion on this, saying “Innovation is the key to economic growth and job creation, and increasingly important to American competitiveness in the global economy.” [2] Skilled STEM workers (and as such a strong emphasis on mathematics education) are in high demand and are central to ensuring American competitiveness and economic success. [3] Judging by the importance of mathematics education and the poor ranking of American mathematics literacy, the American education system is far from placing too much emphasis on mathematics education.

University preparation

The US education system does not sufficiently prepare for basic mathematics courses at the university level and 30% of college students are required to take remedial classes in maths in order to correct this achievement gap. [4] With two thirds of high-school graduates pursuing higher-level education within a year of graduation, sufficiently preparing students for further education should be a goal of the education system, however it is not met. [5]

Not enough emphasis is placed upon mathematics

Mathematics education is important to maintaining American competitiveness and economic success. The American education system, however, prepares students significantly more poorly than the average amongst OECD nations and a significant proportion of students are unprepared for university level mathematics courses. The American education system places too little, not too much, emphasis on mathematics.



[1] http://www.all4ed.org...
[2] http://www.sciencedebate.org...
[3] http://www.usnews.com...
[4] http://www.uknow.gse.harvard.edu...
[5] http://www.bls.gov...
Debate Round No. 2
The4416Instigator

Pro

The4416Instigator forfeited this round.
Enji

Con

My opponent forfeits - vote Con.
Debate Round No. 3
2 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Posted by The4416Instigator 4 years ago
The4416Instigator
I think that if you are going into any field but mathematics/physics/architecture, and possibly engineering, mathematics through precal shouldn't be necessary for you.
Posted by Bullish 4 years ago
Bullish
I think this is subjective. It depends on what you are goon to do.
2 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Vote Placed by 1Devilsadvocate 4 years ago
1Devilsadvocate
The4416InstigatorEnjiTied
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Total points awarded:04 
Reasons for voting decision: F.F.
Vote Placed by Subutai 4 years ago
Subutai
The4416InstigatorEnjiTied
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Total points awarded:06 
Reasons for voting decision: Pro relies on unsourced arguments, while con uses well-sourced arguments. Pro's arguments were just here say.