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Anderson's Top Twelve List: Why Do the Math?

Espen Anderson, management professor in Norway, wrote an article for Aftenposten, a Norwegian newspaper, which was translated into English for the journal Ubiquity. Why should we care? Because as a non-mathematics educator, he listed twelve reasons why high school students should learn mathematics.

  1. It makes you smarter.
  2. You'll make more money.
  3. You'll lose less money.
  4. You'll have an easier time at college.
  5. You'll live in a global world.
  6. You'll live in a world of constant change.
  7. It doesn't close any doors.
  8. It's interesting.
  9. You'll meet it more and more in the future.
  10. You can get through, not just into, college.
  11. It's creative.
  12. It's cool.
In his article, Anderson embellishes on each reason...but mathematics teachers should not give students these embellishments. Rather, students should get the list of reasons, and then see if they can fill in the "why?" supporting each reason.

Source: Edutopia, September 2006, p. 12