Posted by: **Alexandre Borovik** | February 14, 2021

## Why is math in school boring? Is it the curriculum’s blind spot?

My answer to a question on Quora: Why is math in school boring? Is it the curriculum’s blind spot?

My answer:

- Math in school is boring because mathematics education lost its purpose and meaning.

Lockdowns during this pandemic laid bare the true social and economic role of schools:

- Schools are storage rooms for children — to free their parents’ time for paid employment.
- Mathematics in schools is boring because teaching mathematics is reduced to coaching children to pass exams.
- Exams dominate mathematics education because they are loved by employers: exam grades provide very cheep, for employers, way to select future employees, compliant and obedient. And mathematics exams could be made hard.
- From the point of view of an employer, a good grade in exciting and very interesting subject is of less value than the same grade in an excruciatingly boring subject — because the latter requires much more effort, I would even say, strong will, to get.
- You know, office work is painfully boring; it is advisable to be preparing for that from childhood. Being boring, school mathematics helps to achieve that.

As simple as that.

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Perfectly accurate description. Unfortunately, it cannot be easly translated into practical steps: the Goodhart’s law is too powerful.

By:

Sergei Yakovenkoon February 14, 2021at 9:54 am