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View Full Version : Why continue to teach geometry in primary school?


Starwatcher162536
05-20-2009, 04:00 PM
Why continue to teach geometry in primary school? I mean, there are other branches of Math that are just so much more useful and relavant to most peoples lives, like statistics for one.

popcorn_karate
05-20-2009, 04:18 PM
maybe because geometry is really beautiful, intuitive, powerful, and interesting while statistics is awkward, ugly, and sickening?
; )

I do think statistics would turn more people off of math a lot quicker than geometry. geometry is also very useful in many trades that don't require a college education such as carpentry. It also doesn't require nearly as much memorization to be a useful tool. I can still do geometry (20 years later) while I can't do much of anything useful using statistics without picking-up my old college books (besides finding an average or other really simple stuff).

I think that you are right that to be a good citizen in a democracy and make intelligent decisions about policy, most people need a lot more education in statistics and probability.

AemJeff
05-20-2009, 04:23 PM
Why continue to teach geometry in primary school? I mean, there are other branches of Math that are just so much more useful and relavant to most peoples lives, like statistics for one.

Because geometry (I mean Euclid) is the first, and often the only, exposure to something resembling formal logic that many people encounter. Nobody should grow up without having experience with the process of proof. Nor should people find their way all the way through school without exposure to a purely abstract topic. Learning how to think is a lot more important than any other particular topic. Besides which, of course, it's a necessary building block before trigonometry and calculus.

uncle ebeneezer
05-20-2009, 04:41 PM
maybe because geometry is really beautiful, intuitive, powerful, and interesting while statistics is awkward, ugly, and sickening?
; )

Amen, brother. Plus geometry has the cool shapes!!

claymisher
05-20-2009, 04:55 PM
I'm a whiz at algebra, calculus, and stat but I still don't really get geometry. I can use sin, cos, and tan but I don't really get them. I don't know if that means teaching algebra is not important or if it's more important. :)

I do think you could start stat a lot earlier though. The first half of a college-level stat course is crap like jellybeans in jars and false positives. You could teach that to 12-year-olds.

In real life I find that the math I use the most is calculating area and volume, and doing simple logs to solve stuff like 1.05^x = 2. I had completely forgotten logs and had to relearn it on my own post-college (thanks web!).

JonIrenicus
05-20-2009, 04:58 PM
Why continue to teach geometry in primary school? I mean, there are other branches of Math that are just so much more useful and relavant to most peoples lives, like statistics for one.

I am ok with it being taught, but I have to say, it is one of the more forgettable maths in terms of use and retention.


I could tutor people in trig or algebra or calculus, but geometry deals with so many theorems and quirks that I would have to do a refresher course or time to be competent in it.


But to be honest, math for most people beyond the basics is useless.