At different times and in different cultures and countries, mathematics education has attempted to achieve a variety of different objectives. These objectives have included:
- The teaching of basic numeracy skills to all pupils
- The teaching of practical mathematics (arithmetic, elementary algebra, plane and solid geometry, trigonometry) to most pupils, to equip them to follow a trade or craft
- The teaching of abstract mathematical concepts (such as set and function) at an early age
- The teaching of selected areas of mathematics (such as Euclidean geometry) as an example of an axiomatic system and a model of deductive reasoning
- The teaching of selected areas of mathematics (such as calculus) as an example of the intellectual achievements of the modern world
- The teaching of advanced mathematics to those pupils who wish to follow a career in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) fields.
- The teaching of heuristics and other problem-solving strategies to solve non-routine problems.
Methods of teaching mathematics have varied in line with changing objectives.
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Famous quotes containing the word objectives:
“Along the journey we commonly forget its goal. Almost every vocation is chosen and entered upon as a means to a purpose but is ultimately continued as a final purpose in itself. Forgetting our objectives is the most frequent stupidity in which we indulge ourselves.”
—Friedrich Nietzsche (18441900)