I admit, I’ve been slacking.

Much like when I was in college, the online courses don’t command my attention unless I pick time during the week to dedicate to them.

As a result, I’m a little behind in the How to Learn Maths course by Stanford professor Jo Boaler, though it’s not from lack of solid material.

(Truth be told, I had a busy weekend and had a lot on my mind.)

To that end, I’m posting here my Concept Map (not really) for the discussion of why students are averse to maths education.

As you can see, the Easy and Practical maths (Quadrant I, top right) are brightest because they’re easiest and quickest to consume. While I can’t speak for the U.K. or other areas, the United States is very interested in quick consumption and disposal with no lasting effect.

…this extends to their math as well.

Quadrant I holds maths that are quickly calculated using simple formulas and requiring no greater understanding of mathematics. These are especially appealing to American teenagers; the Big Mac of maths, if you will.

Quadrant II (top left) is math that is easy to grasp, but not typically applicable to real life. Many of the 3-Acts fall into this category, and that’s okay.

Quadrant IV (bottom right) is math that is easy to do, but won’t be used often in real life. If it can be done easily in Excel or Google Sheets, it goes here.

And the student interest fades with the colors as we travel to Quadrant III (bottom left) where math is difficult, uninspiring, and never used again after the course.

I asked my (physician) father if I should take Calculus 2 and 3 in college. He responded, “Only if you want a job as a very narrow form of geek.”

I’m now a math teacher.