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The Road Not Taken...
The Road Not Taken...
All our lives, every day, we are faced with decisions, some small, some not so small, some life-changing.
Small decisions like what to have for lunch or what kind of gift to purchase are not enormous decisions but decisions, none the less.
Life changing decisions require a lot more thought, introspection, and analysis. For instance, which College to attend or not attend at all? Take the job offer or not? Move to a new location or not?
We think of different scenarios with different outcomes or consequences.
"What if...?" I follow Plan A.
"What if...?" I follow Plan B?
Sometimes, paralysis sets in and we make no decision, which is also a decision.
Do we take the road most traveled following the examples of others or what society sets forth as the "correct" path? Or, do we take the road less traveled and blaze a new trail?
How does a math education help decision making?
Problem Solving: Math education is used to break down complex problems into smaller, more manageable pieces and use "What if...?" logic and critical thinking to find solutions. These same skills are used in real-life decision making to weigh options with pros and cons and make informed decisions.
Numerical Literacy: Math education provides the foundation for understanding and using numerical information in decision making. This includes analyzing data and using this focused analysis to make "What if..?" predictions.
Understanding of Risk and Uncertainty: A good math education introduces students to probability and statistics, which are essential in decision making. Analyzing the probability of various "What if...?" outcomes is essential to making less risky choices. Understanding the likelihood of different outcomes and the level of uncertainty associated with each outcome can help individuals make more informed choices to lead life at a comfortable risk level. Subjectively, this leads to a calmer more fulfilled life.
Mental Agility: Math education sharpens the mind requiring students to think abstractly, recognize patterns and make connections. All of these are useful skills in decision making, especially in complex or ever-changing situations.
Overall, math education provides individuals with the tools they need to understand and analyze information, identify potential risks and opportunities, and make informed decisions.
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Reading and Thinking - Level 3 - Critical Decision Making Skills
Opinions and Analysis by: Illana Herzig Weintraub
Publisher: MathMedia Educational Software, Inc.
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