May 4, 2018

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Math Problem

May 4, 2018

 

Parents, we have a problem. Our kids struggle with math. Their test scores have been sliding. “For the second straight year, only 50 per cent of Grade 6 students met the provincial standard in math, according to Ontario’s Education Quality and Accountability Office.”[1] We should be alarmed. We must look for a solution collectively and individually. And find it!

 

It’s not a secret that some students love math and others can’t stand it. And those who can’t stand it tend to say things like, “I don’t need math! I just want to pass it. I am not going to be an accountant.”

 

But it’s irresponsible to be ignoring the importance of this subject—especially in our technocratic, increasingly digital society. However, find me a teenager who truly responsibly thinks about their future. Not easy, right? Nope. Been there, done that myself. Hence, it’s parents’ responsibility.

 

But it’s not about necessarily becoming an accountant. It’s about understanding that even if you want to own a flower shop business, you still must be financially literate. Otherwise, you’ll just go broke. And very quickly.

 

That’s why I’d like to share the following excerpt from Greenspan: The Man behind Money by Justin Martin:[2]

 

At P.S. 169, one of Greenspan’s teachers was a Mr. Small. Small brought pragmatism to teaching mathematics, taking the students on some unusual field trips. “He made it very interesting,” Bill Callejo, another of Greenspan’s childhood friends, recalls of Small. “He had us go down to banks and get copies of deposit slips as an introduction to math.”[3]

What an interesting idea, don’t you think? Perhaps we, both parents and teachers, don’t teach math in an interesting-enough fashion? So let’s find a solution to the problem. And then maybe our collective household debt isn’t going be almost $2T as it was reported by Bank of Canada the other day.[4]

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  1. Liam Casey and Allison Jones, “Math Scores Flat, Falling among Ontario Elementary Students,” The Star, August 30, 2017, https://www.thestar.com/news/canada/2017/08/30/math-scores-flat-falling-among-ontario-elementary-students.html.

  2. Alan Greenspan is an American economist and former Chairman of the Federal Reserve.

  3. Justin Martin, The Man behind Money (Cambridge, Massachusetts: Perseus Publishing, 2000), 3.

  4. “Canadian Household Debt Hits $1.8 Trillion As Global Watchdog Warns of Risks to Economy,” Financial Post, March 12, 2018, http://business.financialpost.com/personal-finance/debt/canadian-household-debt-hits-1-8t-as-report-warns-of-domestic-risk#comments-area.

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