The Great Debate: Math vs Street Smarts - Which is More Valuable?

Aiden Starling

Updated Saturday, March 2, 2024 at 12:20 AM CDT

The Great Debate: Math vs Street Smarts - Which is More Valuable?

The Argument for Street Smarts

Some people argue that math is useless in school and suggest that a "basic laws of life" or street smarts class would be more beneficial. They believe that practical skills like money management, study skills, and job applications would be more valuable than algebra or calculus.

However, critics of the street smarts class argue that secondary education and colleges do not value it. They argue that these practical skills may not help students in getting a job or advancing their careers.

It is interesting to note that the argument for a street smarts class is often made by middle-aged parents who may not have paid attention in similar classes when they were younger. They believe that a more relatable and practical approach to education would have better prepared them for the challenges of adulthood.

In an attempt to address these concerns, a teacher once built a practical life class based on what students said they wanted. The class included modules on money management, study skills, and job applications. However, to the surprise of the teacher, every student in that class hated it and got nothing out of it, according to evaluations and exit surveys.

The Importance of Math

One Reddit user shares their personal experience with math, stating that they hated it because they struggled to understand it and it caused them anxiety. They argue that if they had a street smarts class taught in a fun and engaging way, they wouldn't have complained.

On the other hand, another Reddit user argues that math is the most useful subject they learned in school. They believe that math applies to every aspect of life, from budgeting and financial planning to time management and DIY projects. They argue that math is a lesson in how to survive, but often kids don't care because they are taught abstract concepts without practical application.

Another person shares their experience in high school where they had a class on budgeting and civics. However, many of their classmates didn't pay attention and still complain about not being taught practical skills. This raises the question of whether it is the subject matter or the students' attitude towards learning that is the real issue.

A grown adult reflects on taking a math class focused on "business math" and how it has been incredibly helpful in their life, even though they did poorly and hated it at the time. They express gratitude for having the option to learn practical skills, as it has benefited them in adulthood where there are no teachers to guide them in those areas.

The debate between math and street smarts continues. While some argue for the importance of practical skills in a street smarts class, others emphasize the value of math in everyday life. Perhaps the key lies in finding a balance between the two, providing students with both the practical skills they need to navigate the real world and a solid foundation in math to help them understand and apply those skills effectively.

Noticed an error or an aspect of this article that requires correction? Please provide the article link and reach out to us. We appreciate your feedback and will address the issue promptly.

Check out our latest stories