Values of Mathematics B.Ed Notes

Mathematics has got many educational values which determine the need of teaching the subject in schools. These values can be studied under the following heads:

1. Practical Value
Mathematics has great practical value. Everyone uses some mathematics in every form of life. A common man sometimes can do without reading or writing but he cannot do without counting and calculating. Any person who is ignorant of mathematics can be easily cheated. He will always be at the mercy of others. We have to make purchases daily. We buy cloth, food items, fruit, vegetables, grocery etc.

We have to calculate how much we have to pay for everything. A house-wife also needs mathematics for looking after her house, preparing family budgets and estimates, writing various expenses and noting down various household transactions. Mathematics is needed by all of us whether rich or poor, high or low. Not to speak of engineers, bankers, accountants, businessmen, planners etc., even petty shopkeepers, humble coolies, carpenters and labourers need mathematics not only for earning their livelihood but also to spend wisely and save for future. Whoever earns and spends uses mathematics.

We are living in a world of measurements. We have to measure lengths, areas, volumes and weights. We have to fix timings, prices, wages, rates, percentages, targets, exchanges etc. In the absence of these fixations, the life in the present complex society will come to a standstill.

There will be utter confusion and chaos. Just think if a fairy descends on earth and removes all mathematics. There will be no calendar, no maps, no accounts, no fixations or measurements, no industrial activity, no plans or projects. Thus we see that mathematics has

tremendous value or application in our daily life. It is essential for leading a successful social life.

Cultural Value

Mathematics has got a great cultural value which is steadily increasing day by day. Mathematics has made a major contribution to our cultural advancement. The progress of our civilisation has been mainly due to the progress of various occupations such as agriculture, engineering, industry, medicine, navigation, rail road building etc. These occupations build up culture. Mathematics makes direct or indirect contribution to the development of all occupations. Hogben says, “Mathematics is the mirror of civilisation”.

The history of mathematics shows how mathematics has influenced civilisation and culture at a particular time. Progress in mathematics, of Greeks and Egyptians in the past led to their cultural advancement and the progress of their civilisation. Mathematics is a pivot for cultural arts such as music, fine arts, poetry and painting. Perhaps that is why the Greeks, who were the greatest geometers of their times, were quite adept in fine arts.

Disciplinary Value

Mathematics trains or disciplines the mind also. It develops thinking and reasoning power. According to Locke, “Mathematics is a way to settle in the mind a habit of reasoning.” Mathematics is ‘an exact and definite science’. Every student of mathematics has to reason properly without any prejudices or unnecessary biases. Reasoning in mathematics has the characteristics of simplicity, accuracy, objectivity, originality etc.

Besides reasoning, mathematics has the following disciplinary values also.

(a) Development of the power of concentration. The faculty to concentrate one’s mind can only be learnt by the study of mathematics.

(b) Development of inventive faculty. The study of mathematics develops inventive faculty of the students. The solving of a difficult problem in mathematics is just like making a discovery.

(c) Will power. Mathematics develops patience and perseverance in the students. It strengths their will power.

In addition to practical, cultural and disciplinary values, mathematics has so many other values. Mathematics teaches the art of economical living. It teaches economy in time, speech, thought and money. Thus we see that mathematics has many educational values which show the increasing importance of the subject in schools and in social life.

Mathematics has got its cultural value and it is steadily increasing day by day. It has been truly said that mathematics is the mirror of civilization. On the other hand mathematics is a way to settle the habit of reasoning in the human mind. It trains or disciplines the mind. Mathematical truths are definite and exact. So that mathematical correctness of a human mind goes along with his/her accurate decision making ability. Modern civilization is the result of the correct decision making ability of human being that is analogous to the decision maker’s quantitative ability.

Study of mathematics helps in developing thinking, reasoning in diction analysis, synthesis, generalization, discovery subject and it helps in creating international understanding also for a sound and productive vocational life, mathematical ability and knowledge is an essential requirement. Mathematics demands hard work from the learner so the learner of mathematics learns to be hard working in every aspect of his/her life. Since the entire aspect of our life is interrelated with mathematics, there is no escape from mathematics of life and livelihood.

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