Students often wonder when they are studying algebra if it will actually be useful for them in life beyond the classroom. There is great news for those students: Algebra can absolutely be beneficial in life if they choose to understand it! Memorising how to solve algebraic equations may get a course completed, but truly understanding algebra helps us to notice how to use it in everyday problem-solving. Need further convincing? Here are 6 awesome reasons to learn algebra.
1. Algebra is much faster than basic maths
Multiplying two by twelve is quicker than counting to 24 or adding up 2 twelve times. That’s Algebra at work! It allows us to solve problems quicker and easier. It also opens up new areas of maths problems, such as graphing curves which cannot be solved with only foundational maths skills.
2. You'll need algebra in everyday life
While learning one kind of maths simply to learn more kinds of maths may not sound like it would be immediately satisfying, statistics and calculus are used by many people in their careers and everyday life. Think of all the ways that statistics play a role in your day: weather forecasts, banking, retail and consumer trends are just a few. An understanding of statistics makes us smarter consumers of information and more marketable to employers.
3. Career opportunities are boosted by algebra
A student may be confident they are not interested in any careers that require statistics or calculus. However, many people change careers several times in their lifetime. Having a firm knowledge and understanding of algebra will make career-related changes much smoother.
Calculus assists us in describing complex processes like how the speed of an object changes over time. Scientists and engineers use calculus in their research and designs for new technology, medical treatments, and products being brought to market. If you are interested in a career in science, medicine, computer technology, or engineering learning calculus is a must.
4. Algebra reinforces logical thinking
Algebra is not the only means of teaching logic. There are more direct and effective means of doing so, but it is a nice bonus that the two subject areas reinforce and support one another.
5. You're using algebra when you go shopping
Algebra is very helpful in day to day life. In the store, you have $20 and need to purchase groceries. After looking at the prices, you determine how much you can put into your cart without being embarrassed at checkout by not having enough money to cover the tab. That’s algebra!
Weather forecasts, the stock market, and banking rely on statistics. When you pop a question into Google, calculus is at work. Algebra is very helpful in day to day life!
6. Algebra is poetic and beautiful
The beauty of algebra is an undeniable benefit for those who truly choose to enjoy it, but algebra provides us with a basic language to describe so many types of real-world phenomena from gravity to the patterns in nature. That five letters can be used to describe how an entire category of matter, namely ideal gases, behaves is amazing and beautiful in its simplicity.
There is also a beauty when we start with a complex-looking problem and combine and simplify over and over until we have one value for each variable. The process can be enjoyable and the result immensely satisfying.
Algebra is an important life skill worth understanding well. It moves us beyond basic math and prepares us for statistics and calculus. It is useful for many careers. Algebra is useful around the house and in analysing information in the news. It also reinforces logical thinking and is beautiful.
Keep learning algebra with your students
So, keep an open mind about why we learn algebra and look for ways to enjoy its applications. Dispel the stigma that it is a boring list of rules and procedures to memorise. Instead, consider algebra as a gateway to exploring the world around us. Those are our top reasons why we learn algebra, and there are plenty more.
Ask your student what they think algebra is and engage them in the conversation. After finding out how many useful and daily activities use algebra, they might have more confidence to tackle the subject!
If you want a complete, in-depth maths program that teaches basic addition to algebra, you can check out the Math-U-See program here. Using research-proven methods and hands-on, multisensory learning, students are introduced to algebra at Primary level maths and continued up at advanced levels of maths.
Because the subject is introduced early on in their learning, as well as incorporating a range of multisensory tools like the Algebra Decimal Inserts, students learn algebra easily and can confidently apply it in everyday life situations.
If you have any questions, let us know!
The Team at Maths Australia.