Maths is not a Spectator Sport

One of my University lecturers told me this. In fact; he told the whole year group this. I suspect he told every year group before us, and will tell every group that follows.

I think it’s pretty important.

I tell my students. A lot. I have a poster of it. Most of the time when I tell them this I’m met with incredulity.


“Maths isn’t even a sport!”

“Why do you have that on a poster?”

“Really, what!?”

I take a moment to point out that they are being too literal, that it means they need to engage with what they are doing, to practise, that they can’t just watch me do it in front of them and expect to get it.

I guess that sums up (heh, pun) what I want to do. I want my students to engage with what they are doing, because if they’re engaged, they’re thinking about it, even a little bit. And if they can think about Maths, rather than think about processes, or formulae, or ‘how many marks in my exam will this be worth’, then a whole chunk of every question they meet in life is done for them.

Because Maths is just that awesome.

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