Math Approaches Events Differently

Classes address current events uniquely

Cleo Kilpatrick, Sports Editor

Have you realized that more current events are talked about in your social studies or english classes versus your science and math classes? Have you wondered why that is or said to yourself we should be talking more about current events in these classes? Math teacher Maggie Molter states, “I think one of the things that’s tough about a current current event in math is that it takes some time to collect a quality data set if you want to look at it.” Molter continues and gives an example of, “Like the war in Ukraine that started six weeks ago, if I wanted to talk about that event in my math class I would want to have some kind of quality data set from a math perspective to look at. That’s probably going to take like several years to collect.” 

When thinking about currents events and how we talk about them in our classes, we have to think about how each class has a different angle on a current event. A math perspective is different from an English or Social Studies perspective. The angle is just one important factor that comes into play when talking about current events. Another factor is balance, Molter says, “Ultimately we as educational professionals get paid to think about all day is the balance.” Molter often questions “When do we want to have a teamwork moment about practicing exponent properties because that procedural fluency is really important versus when do we want to have students share their own perspective that might clash against each other.” Balance is not an easy thing to incorporate. So sometimes, current events in math and science classes don’t always fit in with that balance. 

 Dom Cornforth ‘24 believes, “news should be a choice,” meaning people should be able to decide whether they want to hear about a current event or not. When someone gets the choice they get to choose their own balance. 

Overall the idea here is, yes current events are important but in some classes there is more of a challenge to incorporate them. Motler says, “The closest thing to current events that I’ve done here in algebra II or AP calculus is describing the trend on a graph.” Molter continued to say that they, “try to take data sets that stretch beyond the math class.” Unfortunately like Molter said earlier, collecting a good quality data set takes time. After a while when you have the quality data the event is no longer current. That being said, it is still important to keep yourself informed. Cornforth believes, “I think it’s good if people kinda know what’s happening.” 

Even if you’re not talking about a current event in class, it doesn’t hurt to ask your teachers questions.