I think that in order for students to be able to comprehend mathematics, that they should know how this subject developed. If students knew why people started counting things, this would help grasp, why they need to know the number line. History is a lot easier to teach than math, because some students get bored with numbers, but if they were taught how the great breakthroughs came about, this would help to gain their interest, instead of just throwing all of these numbers and complicated terms at them.
I did this in my third, as yet still unpublished book titled So You Want To Learn Calculus, because there are a lot of bad math teachers out there. I had three semesters of Calculus in College and although I could solve the problems because I was able to see the patterns, I never really knew what this subject was about. If Math is taught correctly, it can be a fascinating subject. My book is not for everyone and nobody has ever read it and it is possible that nobody ever will, but you can’t just throw students into this ocean of information, before they know how to swim.
Written for Fandango’s Provocative Question #104 which asks, “What do you think is the one subject (or thing) that should be taught in school that isn’t?”