Home Opinion Dear Editor Writer commended for defending algebra

Writer commended for defending algebra

0

Copyright © 2021 Roswell Daily Record

Anybody who questions the inclusion of algebra in a school’s curriculum needs to read Michael Apostol’s thoughtfully penned RDR column titled “Algebra and the common man.”

Many of this venerable subject’s detractors, who demand immediate relevance/value in the workplace, would excise algebra in a heartbeat were they in a position to do so. It is no secret that very few of us will ever have to find the rational zeros of a polynomial or multiply by the complex conjugate in order to perform the duties of our vocation. So the question becomes, “Is that a reason to consign algebra to the rubbish heap?”

Michael, despite his justified criticisms of how a student’s algebra proficiency is assessed on the beleaguered PARCC test, believes algebra hones one’s reasoning and logic skills. As a math educator, I am convinced that algebra (and other math disciplines) allows one to cope with indeterminacy in a structured fashion. To wit, the rental cost word problem in Michael’s column can be solved by giving a name (often X) to the original number of people sharing the $1,200 rent.

At this point, X is only the name of a value that has yet to be determined. However, one can write down the relationships that exist between F and the rest of the information given, to eventually determine the value of X lifting the fog of indeterminacy. I commend Michael for defending a subject that has withstood the test of time and will very likely remain a proud element of any credible curriculum.

Steven Young
Roswell

Support Local Journalism
Subscribe to the Roswell Daily Record today.

 

Previous articleCity is edging on financial crisis
Next articleConsider disease in homeless planning