Quantitative Reasoning, Algebra


Bennett, Jeffrey. 2012. Math for Life: Crucial Ideas You Didn’t Learn in School. Greenwood Village, CO: Roberts and Company Publishers. 216 pp. Cloth $25. ISBN: 978-1-936221-1.

Math for Life: Crucial Ideas You Didn’t Learn in School by Jeffrey Bennett is a general interest mathematics book focused on the topic of innumeracy, the mathematics required to be numerate and why quantitative literacy is important for an educated citizenry. This book raises the very important question of why the mathematics we need to navigate our daily world is given such short shrift in our K-12 math education system. Math for Life is directed at multiple constituencies. For those wishing to develop their quantitative literacy, it provides a primer of the crucial topics, explained with compelling examples in an accessible easy-to-read style. For educators, it provides a valuable synopsis of what the math education curriculum should have at its core. I conclude the review with an analysis of the book’s contributions to these varied domains. In particular, I call into question the algebra-centric high school curriculum and explore possible alternatives to the current myopic focus on calculus in our broken mathematics education system.




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