There are a couple of things that changed in my life recently which made my reconsider my life and how I perceive the things around me. Therefore, I wanted to talk about one of the most important questions out there: what if?.
Thinking about my day to day life I am not really a big fan of this question. I don’t like questions such as “what if I haven’t done mathematics at university?” or “what if I have never moved from my home town?”. I find these the most annoying questions ever, absolutely not productive or helpful at all. There is absolutely nothing someone can do to change the past and the only useful thing is to “deal with it” even if it was a good or a bad decision.
On the other hand, questions like “what if I change the numbers in this equation?” or “what if I change the length of this line?” or “what if I change the gradient of this line, will it ever intersect the other line?” are crucial. In any type of science related subject the “what if” type questions are the most important. I have the feeling that if scientists would never ask themselves this type of questions, there would be absolutely no break trough, no evolution. For any new invention or discovery, you need to think at “what if” of the situation and start trying, researching more and more.
Therefore, encourage your children, students, pupils to ask themselves the right “what if?” questions. Start from an early age and build on. Use the question yourself in your every day life for random things, such as “what if I change this ingredient for the recipe?”. Encourage your child to ask questions, to be curios, to think outside the box. Never encourage regret and stupid questions.
I know I have never really written this type of post and it is probably not the best ever, but I got a little annoyed by something in this past month. After I became a little more confident about teaching (I still have much to learn), I started asking “what if?” type of questions to my pupils and I was shocked by their refusal to think, participate in the discussion and, in general, their refusal to be curios. I am sometimes annoyed at their desire to just get the answer to the question and nothing else. I am trying to change things, but there are days when I cannot do it. I am and will be trying and so should all of us. We need curios people out there, we need curios scientists, mathematicians, we need them.
What do you think about this? Leave your opinion in the comment box bellow. I am very curios to find your thoughts about this. Hope you enjoyed this post and that you are excited for the future ones. Have a great week. You can find me on Facebook, Tumblr, Google+, Twitter and Instagram. I will try to post there as often as possible.
Don’t forget that maths is everywhere! Enjoy!