Lots of students love to hate “geometry proofs.” Problems and bad memories constitute many of the comments we’ve gotten. It seems many adults carry their “geometry proofs” grudges for decades. So, let’s revisit what they are and what they are for.
Early school curricula centers on learning skills and values. As we go toward higher grades, the curricula introduces a wide variety of subjects, many of which probably receive high scores on students’ “Total Waste of Time” scale.
Why, then, are students required to learn those subjects and do the tasks required? For example, why do they have to learn “chemistry” when they have no intentions of becoming a “chemist”? Or math-mathematician, astronomy-astronomer, or any of a huge number of subject-occupation pairs.
Similarly, why do they have to learn a foreign language when they’ll never speak that language, even if a future opportunity might arise?
The answer has two parts. Someone has to learn these things or the world as we know it will stop. No chemistry, no math, no astronomy, no biology, no medicine, no physicians, no nothing!
Okay, then “why me? Why do I have to do these geometry proofs problems”? The answer: to expose you to a wide range of things so you can decide what you are good at and what you’d like to do during your long and productive career.
[stextbox id=”alert”]For 10th grade students in NY State, geometry proofs are part of the Math Regents Exams. Call us and we can help them prepare for those or any other tests. 845-628-7910[/stextbox]
Convinced yet? Probably not. But, we still haven’t come to the main reason to learn and do all these things.
The most important reason is that each subject, along with the specialized thinking each requires, expands the brain in its own way. Because of all the thinking demands placed on kids, their brains become better, faster, sharper, and in general more capable. Educated brains are able to think through any situation that comes along, any time in the future.
Can the brain cells that are required to do “geometry proofs” be stimulated just as well by doing other tasks? Probably. But, why limit this argument to geometry proofs. The same can be said by substituting almost any school subject or topic in place of “geometry proofs.” Surely, there’ll be major changes in school curricula. Someday, maybe “XYZ” will replace geometry proofs. And, maybe they’ll do an even better job of stimulating brain cells.
But, be forewarned. They’ll be no shortage of people who complain, learning “XYZ” is junk. They’ll hate it and claim it’s a total waste of time.
One more thing: Did you ever hear the complaint: “Hey teachers, my brain is perfect as it is. Don’t mess with my head!”? Perhaps you thought this yourself a few years ago.
Here’s a question that is worth answering. But, you have to promise to be honest with yourself.
While you may have thought your brain was perfect back then, haven’t you learned a lot in those few years? Aren’t you smarter, sharper, quicker? Surprising as it may seem, the same will likely happen a few years from now.
Keep up the good work, learn as much as you can, and in a few years you’ll hear yourself answering the same question with, “I’ve learned a lot in those few years. My brain is a whole lot better now.”