Taking Calculus senior year in high school officially turned me off to math, as it probably does for many high schoolers. While the practicality and logical application of other math subjects is obvious, Calculus is just too advanced for practical application. While it’s great for future math majors, its complexity and disconnect with the real world make it off-putting. In fact it could be argued that forcing teens to take advanced math is partially to blame for our crisis with STEM.

Basic math is critical for survival; that was true long ago and it certainly still holds true today. Even the most basic activities in the home in some way or another intersect with basic math. Whether it’s your printer telling you that your ink cartridge has just one-quarter left to go, or your attempt at filling out a bank deposit slip for several checks you received, it’s critical that you understand basic math to carry on.

Perhaps if high school and even college classes were most focused on the practical application of concepts in the real world, or even based more around current events, students would be more likely to comprehend and apply what they are learning. Generally speaking the education system (at least in the US) is broken, primarily because it’s taking too long to evolve.

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