Importance of algebra

05/17/2014 12:00 AM

05/16/2014 6:36 PM

Many young people today have problems with algebra.

I absolutely hated algebra and almost failed all four courses in spite of qualifying for a full academic scholarship. It was, then, always taught by rote with no practical applications.

Years later in the working world, statistical research and presentation became vitally important to me and I had to relearn algebra on my own. That time it had meaning.

Do today’s kids still have problems with algebra because of rote teaching?

Some expect a motivating payoff to education. Is it possible that some teachers, like mine, might lack enough knowledge of the real working world to provide meaningful examples and application?

— Jim Atkinson, Fort Worth

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