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Do Americans tend to make excuses for being bad at math?

  • Look at our schools

    Although I agree that basic English skills such as grammar, essay-writing, and rhetoric plus basic social sciences knowledge should be taught, I strongly contest the importance of over-analyzing (a.K.A. "B.S."-ing, "interpreting") a text such as To Kill a Mockingbird ("Why is the chair black? Because the author was describing its color, not because it 'symbolized the juvenile innocence of Gothic youth in civil-rights-era America'!"--by the way I actually read the book; my quote is just a made-up example), which is as useless in everyday life as a math formula such as Heron's Theorem but more so as a stepping stone to actual practical uses (at least Heron's promotes fundamental mathematical and problem-solving skills that can lead up to usefulness in future academic and career undertakings). Now take a look at other nations. Many successful ones promote a "no-nonsense" approach to S.T.E.M. Topics--no "I'm just born bad at math"-- that prepares their children for higher education. Culturally, not a lot of countries have parents as permissive as American ones in terms of their children's grades (and, especially American ones, their teenagers' "questionable behavior"). If America expects to relinquish its throne as Numero Uno, it can feel free to continue down this path :)

  • Yes; just look at our schools and those of other countries

    Although I agree that basic English skills like grammar, essay-writing and rhetoric; plus basic social sciences knowledge for a competent understanding of the world we live in and its history should be taught in American high schools, I strongly contest the importance of scrutinizing/analyzing (a.K.A. "B.S."-ing, "interpreting") a normal enough text ("Why is the chair black? The chair is black because the author gave it with a description of its appearance, not because 'it symbolizes Atticus's grief'!") that has about the same everyday practicality as a math theorem such as Heron's Formula (finding the area of any triangle, given its lengths, without having to measure it!) without any of its long-term benefits such as encouraging fundamental mathematical and problem-solving skills for S.T.E.M. Topics that actually DO matter in the eyes of today's practical society. In short, we should not go beyond what is needed in terms of humanities education. Now take a look at foreign nations. They actively foster a sense of urgency for learning S.T.E.M. Topics and responsibly "shames" the excuse of "I'm just born bad at math" out of the majority of human beings who actually aren't (disabled people excepted). Even China's education system, while admittedly lacking in many things such as creativity, is at least effective in drilling basic math and physics concepts into the average student's head to prepare him for higher levels of education with good job opportunities. Take heart, America!

  • Yes; just look at our schools and those of other countries

    Although I agree that basic English skills like grammar, essay-writing and rhetoric; plus basic social sciences knowledge for a competent understanding of the world we live in and its history should be taught in American high schools, I strongly contest the importance of scrutinizing/analyzing (a.K.A. "B.S."-ing, "interpreting") a normal enough text ("Why is the chair black? The chair is black because the author gave it with a description of its appearance, not because 'it symbolizes Atticus's grief'!") that has about the same everyday practicality as a math theorem such as Heron's Formula (finding the area of any triangle, given its lengths, without having to measure it!) without any of its long-term benefits such as encouraging fundamental mathematical and problem-solving skills for S.T.E.M. Topics that actually DO matter in the eyes of today's practical society. In short, we should not go beyond what is needed in terms of humanities education. Now take a look at foreign nations. They actively foster a sense of urgency for learning S.T.E.M. Topics and responsibly "shames" the excuse of "I'm just born bad at math" out of the majority of human beings who actually aren't (disabled people excepted). Even China's education system, while admittedly lacking in many things such as creativity, is at least effective in drilling basic math and physics concepts into the average student's head to prepare him for higher levels of education with good job opportunities. Take heart, America!

  • Americans don't want to face their own stupidity at math

    Most people seem to be perfectly comfortable about admitting that "I am just bad at math!" It is hard to imagine these same people saying, "I am really a poor reader." or "I can barely manage to write a decent English sentence." The reason we are comfortable about confessing our math stupidity is evidently that we think the ability to do math is some sort of inborn talent. What we are really confessing is our unwillingness to work and study hard to learn something difficult.

  • Yes, but it's because they dont' want to seem like a failure.

    I don't think college level math is necessary for every career. I don't think that you should have to take college math in order to get a college degree that has nothing to do with math or science. In fact, career choices should be made earlier in life so you can focus on the skills you need instead of finding the square root of the hypotenuse in a meaningless equation.

  • Yes, but math is beginning to become irrelevant depending on your job.

    Sure, math skills support higher brain functioning and increases IQ and logical thinking skills, but how necessary is it for an actor? How necessary is it for a janitor? The fact is, students will continue to make bad choices and excuses. The education system should encourage career choices earlier in life and focusing on the skills you need for the specific career you will do. Maybe people will become more successful at an earlier age because they are doing something they like, are interested in, and are good at. Lower drop out/underage drinking/teen pregnancy/teenage suicide rates, happier Americans all around.

  • Yes Americans make excuses for being bad at math.

    Why should we study math? We have calculators, computers, and other machines to do the math for us! That is the excuse. What happened to the time when we used our head? Our brains God gave us. When there were no machines to help out, there was mental math. I still practice that in my home. Americans are just too lazy!

  • Yes We Do

    I have to admit that Americans do make excuses for being bad at math. I know many people that will tell you that they are bad when math is brought up. Some of them will tell you that they don't use most math in real life and that they have access to a calculator so it doesn't matter.

  • Stop making excuses and pay attention in class.

    More than 30% of my school is taking some form of remedial math class.

    Because people were struggling so much with 9th grade math, they had to implement a Pre-Algebra and an 7th grade level math class called "Fundamentals of Pre-Algebra."
    It just baffles me how many people accept their poor grades and simply say "I'm not a numbers person. I'm more of a words person. I'm not going to be able to get any of this no matter what I do because it's how I was born. I'll just stop trying now."

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