Why Math Matters for 21st Century Thinking
JAN 09, 2020

Mathematical thinking is required in the 21st century. Skills involving the formulation of hypotheses, analyzing data, recognizing patterns, seeking evidences and solving problems are key in cultivating creative and critical thinking. A strong foundation in Mathematics also significantly aids in making sense of situations quickly, and is a crucial skill used in our daily lives. Here is a breakdown of why Mathematics matters:

1. Mathematics promotes independent learning and discovery of new information

A solid foundation in mathematics encourages students to direct their individual learning and discover new information independently. Teaching methods that encourage students to come up with the answers by themselves will not only help them to stay engaged in the learning process but also challenge their way of thinking.

2. Mathematics enables students to form their own understanding of each subject

Mathematical reasoning tasks teach students to put key information together and apply it to future tasks. These tasks will enable students to generate their own examples, analyze, and notice the patterns between the tasks such as the similarities and differences, which will consequently lead to the discovery of new information.

3. Mathematics fosters good collaboration and communication skills

When students work on reasoning tasks in a group or in pairs, it promotes collaboration and communication skills. This is because they are required to work together to convey their message to the teacher and the class through drawings, words, gestures, and mathematical symbols. In addition, they are also required to formulate an explanation, justification, and reasoning to support the information presented – creating room for discussion.

4. Mathematics nurtures creativity and critical thinking skills in class

Creativity in class occurs when students are able to generalize and make connections between common properties. This will lead to the formation of new rules and ideas that need to be tested, prompting students to question, analyze, and think innovatively to find solutions.