Knowre’s Chief Product Officer, Seojoon Kim, has been speaking to parents and students in South Korea about the importance of mathematics for many years. He has also co-authored a couple of best-selling books on math learning, including Find Your Math Eyes I & II, Random House Korea, 2008/2011. Seojoon talks about the 5 most common misconceptions about math and breaks down the myths.
1. I’m not good at math, and therefore I should focus on another subject that I can be better at.
No. Many schools/employers are looking for individuals who are strong in mathematics. Studies have shown that the highest achievers in society were good at mathematics in school. So don’t give up on math!
2. People who are good at math are born with it.
No. There are definitely those who are naturally gifted at math and are capable of reaching very advanced levels of mathematics. However, the truth is, just about anybody can master math skills and concepts up to the high school level. And if you wish to get better at math, you must first and foremost have a positive attitude towards it. Before anything, first believe that you can be good at it.
3. I can improve my math skills by listening to the right lecture by the right teacher.
No. You can’t improve your math skills by simply listening to a teacher’s lecture in class. Math requires a process of personalization where you write and work on problems to make it your own. You won’t improve in math with your head and eyes alone. Start to master your math knowledge by writing it out using your own hand.
4. I understand the math during class and homework, but I am just bad at taking tests.
No. Mathematics requires the ability to read a problem, comprehend it, and turn it into an equation that you understand how to compute. It also requires you to go through multiple steps perfectly (without error) in order for you to find the final answer. This means that if you only “sort of” know a concept, then you don’t really don’t know it at all. Therefore, if you’re working on any math problem, make it a habit to solve it perfectly, through and through.
5. Math is only important for getting into college.
No. Math has an important place in society, whether it is in finance, information technology, computer sciences, economics, and business.As society becomes more and more complex, so increases the important role of mathematics. Math is valuable long after you graduate college, so don’t stop trying!