Increased years of education boost economic growth — but only if students’ cognitive skills, as measured by math and science tests, are improved as a result, a new study says.
The study, released in this spring’s issue of Education Next, an education-policy journal, concluded that if the U.S. performed on par with the world’s leaders in science and math, it would add about two-thirds of a percentage point to the gross domestic product, or the total value of goods and services produced in a nation, every year.
People think of Math as a subject to learn. But we may be missing the point. To me it looks more like a basic skill for people to learn. Here is Jagjit Singh on Great Ideas of Modern Mathematics, a book first published in 1959.
It is true that physical sciences, such as physics and astronomy, did use a good deal of mathematics, but even in these sciences one could get along and often make useful contributions without it.
Nowadays, even descriptive sciences, e.g. biology, zoology, genetics, psychology, neurology, medicine, economics, philogy, etc., have begun to employ elaborate mathematical techniques.
Math can be made easy to learn by great teachers. On a more personal note, I had wonderful teachers from elementary school till the end of my undergraduate (engineering) course. The early teachers were such an inspiration. They were mostly responsible for my interest in Math and later in Sciences and Engineering.