At the beginning of the course. I am a high school and high school teacher, so I have a few intense days between presentations, initial level tests and reviews from previous years.
But one thing that I really like to do these days is to ask my students to define what mathematics is. Think that my students are between 12 and 18 years old, that is, they have been studying a subject called "Mathematics" for at least 8 years.
The few brave who dare to respond do not hesitate to define everything related to when you go to the purchase: control what is spent, the cashier gives us the change, compare prices ...
Clearly my students believe that mathematics is doing accounts and that they only serve for that. Well, to be honest, this is called arithmetic and is undoubtedly one of the most important branches of our science, but something we do wrong if it is the only one that affects our students when, in truth, we have a tool such as our calculator. cell phone that makes it faster and more secure than us.
So if a mobile is able to replace the mates we see in the institute ... why study them?
I go further. Why do we study polynomials, derivatives, functions, statistical distributions, inversely proportional distributions ... if we are never going to use them in a supermarket? The school is supposed to teach us useful things for our lives, right?
The answer is simple, although there are still many people who do not see it (or do not want to see it): Mathematics teach us to think.
Yes, yes, that is the great tool that mathematics brings to humanity. And is that by doing mathematics we learn to be critical, not to believe the first thing they tell us, to need a demonstration to trust us, to be more effective, to reflect a moment before making a decision or taking a step and, of course, to solve problems that are not necessarily of the type "Pepito has 3 apples and eats 2 ...".
That's why mathematicians are fashionable and do not have unemployment, because companies value that everything they do contains a solid and real base underneath.
You see, a mathematized society will be harder to cheat ... maybe that's why it does not matter.
Do you still wonder what mates are for?