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Old 01-08-2018, 08:56 PM
 
Location: Californicating Midland, TX since 2017
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My mother in law (now retired) used to be a high school math teacher in China and she talked about the frustrations every year dealing with kids who seemed to hate math on sight. Even though China is stereotyped as a country that's good at math, it seems they still deal with a fair share of students who would rather do anything other than math, just like so many American students, past and present.

Does this hatred of math in school extend to pretty much all cultures around the world?
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Old 01-08-2018, 09:19 PM
 
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Asians tend to excel at math due to the high level of emphasis placed on it in academia. Pursuing a career outside of a scientific, medical or business field is looked down upon.

Of course there are plenty of Asians who dislike math, just like anywhere else, but they don't get as many options in their own countries.

Part of the reason math is disliked by a lot of people comes from it's extravagant presence in curriculums around the world. How many times have kids been told that they won't get anywhere in life if they fail at math? It doesn't help that a lot of math teachers in both schools and colleges have inflated opinions of themselves where they look down upon others.

I do think that math is incredibly overrated tbh and I'm saying that as someone with a masters degree in engineering. The thing is that unless you decide to pursue a career in a scientific field (a wide scope) or study theoretical math you can get by in life with basic arithmetic skills.
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Old 01-08-2018, 09:30 PM
 
Location: Cebu, Philippines
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Math is, basically, a foreign language. Kids always hate trying to learn a foreign language, unless they come in with a prior motivation to do so.

What I don't know (and would love to find out) is whether kids who are already bilingual as early children learn math more easily then monolingual children.

edit:

Maybe yes - - -

https://psmag.com/social-justice/lan...ain-math-91289

Last edited by cebuan; 01-08-2018 at 09:59 PM..
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Old 01-09-2018, 02:24 AM
 
Location: SE UK
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They don't hate Math in the UK, they do hate Maths though :-D
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Old 01-09-2018, 09:07 AM
 
Location: Taipei, Taiwan
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It's not a Western thing. People hate math.
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Old 01-09-2018, 11:24 AM
 
Location: Orange County, CA, USA
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I am not sure if it is simply a Western or American thing for people to hate math.

I do agree, at least with Asians, there is an emphasis on math in education because for careers and industries there is an emphasis to go into the sciences, engineering, computer related fields, medical field or business/finance.

I was born and grew up in the US, but both of my parents are from Taiwan. I remember when I was about 9 or 10 years old, I went to visit Taiwan over one school breaks. My parents wanted me to take my math book with me to prepare for class after the break is over. I had cousins the same age as me in Taiwan. When they saw my math book and the problems they started to laugh and started saying things- "man the problems in your math book as so easy" or that "we covered the same thing a couple of years earlier." Just showed the level of math they covered was higher than what we covered in the US at the same age.

I did not excel in math. I only did ok. I knew I would not become an engineer. I was more apt for the accounting math. I became a lawyer instead later on. Not sure what was the best career path to have taken. But, still surviving in it now. That is for another thread.

But, I do know plenty of Asians who do not like math, so it is not just a Western or American thing.
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Old 01-09-2018, 01:09 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cebuan View Post
Math is, basically, a foreign language. Kids always hate trying to learn a foreign language, unless they come in with a prior motivation to do so.

What I don't know (and would love to find out) is whether kids who are already bilingual as early children learn math more easily then monolingual children.

edit:

Maybe yes - - -

https://psmag.com/social-justice/lan...ain-math-91289
East Asians (Chinese, Koreans, Japanese) are practically monolinguals too.
Southeast and South Asians are usually bilingual.
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Old 01-09-2018, 01:14 PM
 
5,953 posts, read 5,792,577 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ragnarkar View Post
My mother in law (now retired) used to be a high school math teacher in China and she talked about the frustrations every year dealing with kids who seemed to hate math on sight. Even though China is stereotyped as a country that's good at math, it seems they still deal with a fair share of students who would rather do anything other than math, just like so many American students, past and present.

Does this hatred of math in school extend to pretty much all cultures around the world?
Testing on math is a good way to choose students who are relatively intelligent and hardworking.
If someone is good at math, we are almost sure he is not stupid and is hardworking to some extent. This is particularly true when the whole country basically uses the same curriculum and has the same exam.
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Old 01-09-2018, 01:18 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bettafish View Post
East Asians (Chinese, Koreans, Japanese) are practically monolinguals too.
Southeast and South Asians are usually bilingual.
they have multiple forms of the same language, so not really monolingual

Chinese has Cantonese/mandarin, traditional/simplified written language
Japanese has two written systems as well
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Old 01-09-2018, 01:25 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MLSFan View Post
they have multiple forms of the same language, so not really monolingual

Chinese has Cantonese/mandarin, traditional/simplified written language
Japanese has two written systems as well
That is far from different languages.
Mainland China only uses simplified characters, while Hong Kong and Taiwan only use traditional ones.

Only Mandarin is mandatory in all schools of China. Mandarin and Cantonese are very similar too (in terms of vocabulary and grammar), just different pronunciations.

The three Japanese written systems are designed for different lexical items, so they are complementary. A specific word has only one acceptable form (in formal publications)
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