When I was in school, maths was boring. We had textbooks with formulas and rules and the teachers would just walk through the exercises step by step. The closest we got to being engaged was when a teacher asked us to answer questions. No wonder we switched off.
To me, the two biggest crimes in teaching maths, are teachers neglecting to teach us HOW maths came about and WHY we should learn it.
How mathematical rules came to exist is key to understanding them and it makes the formulas easier to remember because you realise they are a shortcut, not just some numerical magic.
Why we should learn maths is obviously a big deal too. My teachers hinted at jobs like carpentry or architecture but we all expected that simple mathematics and a calculator would do all that work for us. It didn’t help that we were expected to do so many maths without calculators, which gave mental arithmetic far too much importance.
Just recently, I’ve been encountering maths problems that are EASILY solvable with Calculus! Calculus! And they are real world issues such as the most fuel efficient speed to drive a particular distance.
I’m not yet great at maths, but between Khan Academy, 3blue1brown on YouTube and the book Calculus Made Easy by Sylvanus Thompson, I’m having some fun learning it now.
There are better ways to teach and learn maths, hopefully schools are taking notice.