Math 20 Math 25 Math Tips davidvs.net |

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Imagine a class about art where you learn about many famous paintings, and painters, and styles of painting, and historical influences for painters, etc. But you never picked up a brush and actually painted. That would be an "art appreciation" class, right?

And imagine a class about music where you listen to many famous songs, and learn about composers and orchestras, and styles of music, etc. But you never wrote notes and actually composed, or used an instrument to play a song. That would be a "music appreciation" class, right?

Now imagine a class about math problems where you learn about famous, old math problems that millions of other people have already solved, but you never actually create any new and original and personal math. That would be a "math appreciation" class, right?

Many Math 25 students have never taken a real math class! They have only had "math appreciation" classes, and were duped into believe these were real math classes.

Math 25 **is** a real math class. It cares about big issues more than small problems. It has a lot of group work. All homework and tests are open-notes. Real math is like that. No one at their job is ever told, "Go in a room and solve these dozen small math problem without talking to anyone else or looking at a book."

A real math class can be scary, in the same way that after a few art appreciation classes it is scary to start painting for the first time. But it is also useful and rewarding, in the way that actually painting goes beyond art appreciation.

Also, be warned that Math 25 uses skills and applications together. This makes the skill practice more interesting, and lets students see real-life themes develop as basic skills are used in different types of applications. We do this even though a few decades ago, some researchers decided that a few students learn math better if the basic skills were separated from the interesting but unavoidably more complicated applications. Ever since, many math classes have had a focus on learning skills through boring repetition. Not here!