I think this was a very interesting article. As a high school math teacher, I do frequently give the explanation that algebra teaches us how to think abstractly, problem solve, reason critically, and practice other thinking skills. Even if students will not necessarily use it regularly in their chosen career field, there are valuable skills learned through algebra. Articles like this one help reinforce that idea, but, more than that, they provide some practical examples of how we can make algebra more applicable in the classroom. Any application ideas that can promote the use of real-world scenarios I believe are worth consideration.
Jamie, I'm glad you liked the article - we need to find more of this type of stuff to share in the math group. I love coaching math teachers as I HATED math all K-12. When I go into a math teacher's room and don't get it there is a pretty strong case to be made that that students won't get it either. Being older, I have the ability to ask good questions that can lead to more engaging math instruction.
I liked geometry in HS as that was visual and logical but it was not until I took a "statistics for journalists" in college that I began understanding the abstraction and power of math. Journalism gave me a "way in" to a mostly painful discipline (for me as a learner).
No matter what disciplines people work in I think we have to remember to teach "who we are and who we aren't." That is one of the reasons I created the PLAYLIST: Reading Reflections + Mathematical Expression Fun LEO© - ... and PLAYLIST: Decoding Symbolic Language Part 1
PLAYLIST: Decoding Symbolic Language Part 2 - 9 PDF PAGES OF FUN! These were my attempts at engaging teachers and students in things that are not natural ways of thinking for me.
I'm always excited when math teachers are thinking about students who find math intimidating - it need not be that way. A little grounding of the abstract has possibilities for pathetic math learners like me :)