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ERIC Number: EJ936579
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011-Aug
Pages: 6
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 10
ISSN: ISSN-0025-5769
Cornered by the Real World: A Defense of Mathematics
Otten, Samuel
Mathematics Teacher, v105 n1 p20-25 Aug 2011
In this article, the author considers many of the common answers to the student question "When am I ever going to use this?" and points out ways in which students may be dissatisfied with these answers. He then suggests a change in perspective with respect to the handling of this and similar questions. In particular, he proposes that, if teachers are not careful, the tendency to cite real-world contexts can itself be damaging to mathematics education if it traps their discipline in a corner where all learning must be justified by something in everyday life.
National Council of Teachers of Mathematics. 1906 Association Drive, Reston, VA 20191-1502. Tel: 800-235-7566; Tel: 703-620-3702; Fax: 703-476-2970; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A