Just discovered this excellent TED talk by Conrad Wolfram discussing the fit, or lack thereof, between how and what we teach in maths and the function and form of mathematics in industry.
Conrad argues that we spend too much time focusing on teaching the mechanical process of calculation – the very step that computers now automate for us and have done for some time. He argues that, when designing a maths curriculum, we should consider more broadly what constitutes maths; shifting our focus to the conceptualisation of real world problems in mathematical terms and the application of mathematical modelling. He also makes the case that if the emphasis on calculating is dropped, we may introduce concepts which have traditionally been deemed difficult, as, whilst they may be driven by conceptually simple rules, such rules lead to tricky calculations to be solved. Calculus being the example he gives.
Well worth a watch 🙂