In my previous post I implied, inadvertently, that we should only teach useful math. That was not my point. My point was that we should not teach math if the *effect* of that teaching is to cause most students to hate it. Of course if we could teach it such that the effect was to cause most students to love it, I would be all for teaching it!

## 2011-04-28

### don't make students hate math!

## 2011-04-26

### don't teach math!

In a nice conversation about writing for education, Adam Gidwitz (the author of *A Tale Dark and Grimm*) pointed me to
*The Mathematician's Lament*. The book makes (much more clearly than I) a point I have been making informally for years: If you want students to know and love math, you definitely should *not* teach it in school! (Same for literature.) The mathematics requirements in school empty the subject of its meaning and point, and are useless to boot. How many non-scientists use the quadratic formula, *ever?* Discovering the formula would be fun, using it is a drag (and exceedingly rare).

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