Monday, September 19, 2011

A Rebuttal On The Reality Of Math

Al Cuoco, the director of the Center for Mathematics Education at EDC recently wrote a response to a New York Times Op-Ed in which he claimed that "reality is relative". This formed the foundation for his conjecture that standardized math courses and testing lack the ability to engage students.
According to Cuoco, requiring all students to balance a checkbook is unnecessary as it may not be part of every student's reality. Even Sol Garfunkel and David Mumford in the original editorial argue "that different sets of math skills are useful for different careers." But nothing could be farther from the truth.
Contrary to the relativism presented by both parties, math is founded upon a reality authored by God himself. We may discover more of the complexity in God's creation (as in fractal geometry) but it was already there for us to learn. Our study of mathematics should draw us closer to an understanding of the Creator as he reveals his divine character through his creation. That is the real reason to study math, not to meet some temporary selfish need.