Math Matters: The Importance of Mathematics in Elementary School (BU)

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By Sam Richard, SED’19

As an elementary school teacher, I will soon be expected to teach a variety of school subjects from language arts and history to math and science. While my major is Elementary Education, I have always enjoyed math, and I am pursuing a minor in Mathematics Education. Although a few of my Elementary Education classmates share my interest in math, most have said that they would never consider pursuing the subject themselves because they are “just not a math person,” or they “never really liked math.” In my personal experience, I have noticed that it is not uncommon to find elementary teachers who have a passion for history or a love for teaching reading, but a strong preference for mathematics or science seems to be much more rare among primary educators. I think that this lack of enthusiasm for STEM fields is unfortunate since the earlier years of a child’s education are an opportunity for teachers to instill a love of learning for all subjects in their students. An appreciation for academics is even more important in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics, which tend to carry a stigma of difficulty that may discourage students from exploring these subjects in the future.

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