Fear of math and science

We can all agree that many children these days prefer not to study very much. I’m not sure if it’s because they are so busy with other things, or that they have been handed so much that the idea of hard work is foreign to them.

Whatever the reason, it’s obvious to parents and teachers across America that kids aren’t putting in the effort to excel in math and science. One explanation may be because math and science generally demand specific solutions, meaning either a right or wrong answer, so for a lot of kids who are scared to fail, or sadly even scared to try, math and science are just pushed away at all costs.

Instead, more kids focus on subjects like history and English, which tend to be more philosophical and interpretive, which allows for more wiggle room and less in the way of hurt feelings.

Don't misinterpret my meaning: Subjects like history and English are imperative to education and add great value to society, but they are not the only things our children should be learning. It is a fact that far more people study these subjects because they fear complete failure in math or science, where strict guidelines and exact answers are expected. Unfortunately, 20 percent off will not make a $40 shirt cost $20, no matter how much you “feel” that it should; the shirt would still cost you $32.

Do you really think that with the brain that either evolution handed down, or God bestowed upon us, we are incapable of learning science and math if we put our mind to it? Absolutely not! We can all learn everything taught in school, it merely requires effort, determination and perseverance. Once learned, it is empowering and enjoyable to utilize these new-learned skills.

We must pass along this attitude to our children and demand that lawmakers, teachers and administrators make math and science a priority in our schools again. Then we must put away our calculators, brush up on our arithmetic and show our children that even old dogs can break out old tricks.

We may not always need math and we may not always like science, but we must always learn and hone these valuable subjects and skills. Given the financial crisis this nation faces, a better understanding of math could make the difference between foreclosure and having peace of mind with your home purchase.

Armstrong Williams is on Sirius/XM Power 169, 7-8 p.m. and 4-5 a.m., Monday through Friday. Become a fan on Facebook at www.facebook.com/arightside, and follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/arightside.