Historically, mathematics has been a subject that has been used to facilitate economic development for instance, at business places, and by engineers when constructing infrastructure. However, a student regularly dread the subject of math and often they use the phrase "we will never apply these concepts in real life." Such students tend to fail the subject, so they try to give excuses for not performing better in the mathematics subject (Gebremichael, 2014). Students face mathematics in areas such as algebra and calculus which puts pressure on their academic activities. However, the skill of mathematics may not be used in some areas but overall has a practical application in various contexts for instance, in financial management, construction projects, and the enhancing health by calculating the appropriate amount of nutrition (Tularam, 2013). Furthermore, while thinking critically to solve mathematical problems, the student's development the mental ability for solving other problems of the society through creative thinking. That is why the instructors always respond to students who see no value in mathematics studies that they shall need the skill in future to deal with problems they encounter (Roca, Wong, and Tularam, 2010). Therefore, the paper shall focus on the literature to uncover the practical uses of the mathematics skills acquired by students in a class. The review aims to establish a strategy that would be appropriate in motivating students to study mathematics as a way of improving their critical and creative thinking skill.
According to Charles-Ogan, & Otikor, (2016) mathematics is an important subject taught in secondary schools and is used to promote the achievement of other academic goals. For instance, it enables the students taking science subjects to focus on problem-solving and achieve better grades in their education. The resultant skills help to build physical and mental capabilities critical for facilitating developments in the society. According to Maas & O'Donoghue, (2011) for scientific and technological advancements mathematics is needed for instance to calculate the Ability that a given channel with leads to particular results. Nwoke & Nnaji, (2011), defined that mathematics is the study of structure, change, space, and quantity. Hence, when these skills are learned and developed early in a student's life's it becomes easy to apply in professional scenarios. Mathematics steers the abstract and logical reasoning skills for counting, measuring, and making estimates of various elements in the process of construction or doing scientific experiments (Emma, 2015). With such knowledge, the experiments and construction activities will lead to bad results. Therefore, the numeracy, thinking, and problem-solving skills that students acquire through the study of mathematics makes it easy for them to pursue careers in technological and scientific fields (Rott, 2012 and Schoenfeld, 1980). For example in some careers such as engineering of any kind mathematics and physics subjects are required pillars (Zavala, Dominguez, Millan, & Gonzalez, 2015). Moreover, the students who are given a chance to study in these areas must be good in such subjects or have attained a particular minimum grade in the two subjects. Hence, students have to understand the value of making efforts in their mathematics related subjects to secure places in higher learning institutions in chasing their dreams.
According to Alkom (2015), the daily living process involves financial management which is a skill only acquire acquired through mathematics lessons that students undergo at schools. This example is considered the most practical among students since no-one can avoid using this skill each day, for example, they have to balance their pocket money against their needs and fan activities to avoid deficits that will lead them into a financial turmoil away from their parents. The mathematics skill allows people to critically evaluate their needs and prioritize them to balance with the money at hand as shown by Tularam, (2013). Students need to have the basic skill of addition, subtraction, division, and using ratios to manage their finances. This is just a skill that a typical person needs but for successful people which most students aspire to become; they need to understand more mathematics such as calculating interest rates, probability, and algebra among other. They will need such mathematical skills to track and facilitate their exponential growth. They will also need to learn about compound interest to understand about different loan or mortgage plans and choose the best option without which the person is bound to make a decision that will be more costly to finance a project. Additionally, for people looking to understand, predict and manage their spending habits to promote development through proper financial management, even higher math is needed to shade light on areas that lead to more expenditure (Vacha-Haase & Thompson, 2004). The understanding of one's patterns of expenditure is a good predictor of a future life; hence, the value of learning mathematics shows its practicality in this manner.
Moreover, mathematics is a practical skill and knowledge needed in the home improvement plans as revealed by (Jang, & Lee, 2015). For instance, when a person needs to do repairs and remodeling of the home, mathematics comes handy while calculating the space or the materials required to work on a particular section of the home. For instance, a tile installer must measure and accurately determine the floor size to order the exact number of tiles that will be fitted on the floor. If fewer tiles are ordered the floor will not be covered as ordered by the client and if more tiles are acquired the client may think the tile installer is wasting resources which may lead to other conflicts and affect the credibility of the installer. Also, it will be essential for the owner of the house being remodeled or repaired to have basic mathematical skills and knowledge to understand the exact amount of materials needed to finish the task without wastage. Moreover, mathematical skills will be a milestone in bargaining with the person doing the remodeling or the repairs to avoid being overcharged or paying less for the services rendered. The mathematical skills are used to determines the amount of wire for an electrician, the quantity of timer regarding length and longevity by the carpenter. Understanding these things will also determine the size of the house and hence, the amount of paint needed to decorate the house both interior and exterior. Furthermore, the knowledge of mathematics could be practically be used to understand the wastage that may occur at homes due to faulty taps or pipes supplying water to the home. For example, the homeowner could use mathematics and calculate the drip rate and place it against time and establish how much money will be lost within a given duration and address the matter as urgent. Also, mathematics is skill needed to understand how much money is used to maintain some activities at home. For example, the amount of electricity used when all bulbs are left on throughout even in rooms which are not in use. Such knowledge could encourage a person to limit lighting to the rooms only in use. Hence, mathematics can be considered an efficient skill to promote home management at reasonable costs. It could be used to determine which LED bulbs are suitable to save on the power expenditure at home. Hence, the person will be able to save funds for other valuable projects with greater returns in future.
Additionally, for those who assume that mathematics is a waste of time, it is important to consider its contribution in the fitness, health, and exercises as shown by (Hall, Sacks, Chandramohan, Chow, Wang, Gortmaker, & Swinburn, 2011). People with body mass index that reveal obesity or overweight are required to monitor their diet and perform regular physical exercises to deal with the situation. Thus, the person is required to calculate the daily intake of calories to ensure it balances with the required amount of exercise to burn the extras. Without simple mathematical skills, the person may fail terribly as quantifying the sugar or fat consumed against the time spent exercising is essential in the process of weight management. Also, the person preparing to be fit will seek to calculate a daily fat percentage for the body, as a motivation for how much exercise is needed to achieve the goal of becoming healthy. It would be discharged to have nutritionist and trainers being paid just to do a simple calculation on a person's behalf yet they can effectively perform the same exercise effectively at a lower cost. It will also improve the creativity and keenness of a person aim to improve the physical fitness and nourish the mind through creative thoughts and simple mathematics to facilitate overall health. Furthermore, such mathematics could inform on the amount of exercises needed to shade a particular volume of body weight. Such knowledge will lead to motivation for improving the level of and time for exercising. Studies have revealed that the avid lift lifers keep the records of their consumption, for instance, the amount of protein and time spend on physical activity to achieve the desired change (Shim, Carlton, & Kim, 2004). Such achievement could not be achieved if the person does not have basic mathematical skills to manage the exercise and maybe share information about their efforts; thus this knowledge is practical, and students should not assume its worth as valueless in the society.
According to Yasar, Cermik, & Guner, (2014) of all the mathematics taught in schools; algebra is the one students consider useless and irrelevant in practical living. However, this is unfortunate since they use the skill more frequent than they even can count (Englem & Conant, 2002). Algebra is the most important since it induced the critical thinking skills of a person to make the best decision in a given situation. For example, if a car is running low on coolant, it is normal to replenish. The coolant in most cases is labeled 50% antifreeze and 50% waster, hence is the ration is not balanced the person is required to do something about it. Thus it is labeled 70% antifreeze and 30% water, without mathematical skills the person may not understand the differences and strike a balance. Hence, algebra is used to establish with the element is more than the other and hence creatively think on the one to add or neutralize to achieve the optimum ration for proper functioning (Tularam, 1997). Also, for the people who take alcoholic drinks, different types of drinks vary by the amount of alcoholic content labeled in percentage form. Thus, it is through the algebraic knowledge that a person will be able to read and understand the alcoholic content label before taking a drink that will be too heavy or too light for the moment. At home environment for example in birthday parties where people have the bake cakes, the algebraic expression are used to determine the amount of flour, butter, sugar salt, and other ingredients used to prepare the delicacies. Doing the measurements for the baking process is a practical mathematical skill which benefits the members of the society hence students should not neglect the skills teachers at schools teach them.
According to (Hanegem, 2017), the main reason for learning mathematics is to enable students to acquire and develop problem-solving skills. There has been a tremendous change in the quality and procedures of teaching mathematics at schools to ensure that students adopt knowledge that will be applicable in practical living. According to Fernandez, Hadaway, & Wilson, (1994) state...
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