Carlo Anthony S. Ang – Math 10-2 Topic: Personal and Family Perception on Mathematics GENERAL PERSPECTIVE ON MATH Identification of Factors that Influence Family and Friends’ Perception on Math In our everyday life, we see mathematics taking shape in myriads of forms—let it be the calculations behind how motors and engines work, to the primary mathematical theories applied in real life to power our technologies, or until to the barest patterns in our environment for which nature shaped its biotic and abiotic creations—(e.g. spirals, flowers, plants, rocks, etc.). Despite these manifestations of math in the real world, a surrounding phobia still shrouds the minds of the public with regard to how they perceive the subject. Most people will highlight with full conviction how math is impractical in real life—whereas in reality, math is the stepping stone, paving the way towards the height of technological apex. Yet, it is not enough to merely say that, which is why, the question begs to be answered: how do our family and/or friends perceive math in our life? By answering that question, we could start to find out what factors influence the outlook of the general public about math. However, in my own opinion, I could say that mathematics is relatively important in our life. For instance, I love the pragmatics and practicalities of Physics in our lives. Physics, in the broadest sense of the word, is the application of mathematics in life. Due to that, humans were able to reach the moon and invent machines, answer the mysteries of the universe, and explain how, despite the earth’s curvedness, the objects on earth are not floating out of space. In addition, the way we could get to apply algebra and geometrical formulas in physics makes it more interesting and adds more to how math’s concepts are connected to different topics. But I have certain reservations about some topics in math like integrals, calculus, and statistics. These uncertainties stem from the fact that I was not well-immersed and well-taught in these spheres of lessons. Which was why in my data gathering collection of the common perception of math (from my family and friends), there is a commonality of factors, both from mine and my interviewees, of how we view math in our lives. Generally, I found out that the topics that my friends/family liked in the mathematics subjects are: geometry because it can be visualized in the mind; arithmetic since this is the basic, fundamental, and the most practical aspect of mathematics; and algebra for it connects all the concepts of math and allows us to explore deeper into the subject. Additionally, they also highlighted how the instructor’s expertise and teaching strategy influenced them to like these topics. Meanwhile, the participants also stressed out that they dislike math, especially in the topics of: calculus and integrals because of the intricacy required in solving the equations; trigonometry due to the over-arching analysis needed, and; mathematical proving, analysis, and reasoning. Ultimately, the factors that I conclude based on this survey and my own personal outlook in mathematics are teacher-factor, ability of the topic to be visualized, perceived practicality in individual life, intricacy and complexity of the topic, and use of constant formulas. From my and my participants’ perception on math, we point out how an instructor’s teaching strategy profoundly influences how we like math. Thinking about it, we could say that if a math adviser is interactive, strategic, and hands-on in delivering mathematical topics at hand, students would be able to understand the lesson faster. More so, the teacher could also help students appreciate the subject—by making math understandable and inclusive, it could help in diminishing the math phobia that students have. Thusly, a math adviser plays a crucial role unto how the general public perceive math in their life. Next, it is said that math becomes easier if they could visualize it. Which was why most like geometry because people could put into context what they are solving about. However, since there is no formal data gathering procedure that was conducted, this is not true to all as there are different type of learners. As this is still interconnected to the first factor, perhaps it is suitable to utilize diagrams as much as possible in teaching math topics (and strategize other teaching strategies that would cater all students). For the third factor, the participants emphasized how they appreciate math if they know its application in real-life situations. Therefore, most like arithmetic because it is used in our daily life aside from the facts that it is the easiest aspect of math. Further, schools and the educational system should put premium on making learners know the benefits and universality of math. Then, the intricacy and complexity of the topic take part in influencing the general perception of math. From their answers and my own experiences, it can be said that the higher the difficulty of a math topic, the more mental strain it provides—which in turn could result in a negative learning experience among learners. Actually, this is a personal type of dilemma—a “persevere or give-up” type of situation, wherein as much as the instructor dedicates effort in simplifying topics, but all effort is wasted when a person vilifies math. Therefore, it must be solved within the self. Lastly, people like to learn math when they use formulas and less in analytical reasoning such as word problems and equations. These topics include statistics, geometry, and physics. Nonetheless, there is a problem here since when people purely rely on formulas, there is no indepth learning, which is of utmost importance. The essence lies in exploring math in its deeper aspects since this is where we get to learn and critically think which can lead to breakthroughs.