The following is from an assignment I just turned in. It concerns using “real world problems” in math education. I thought I would post it here for later reference.
I can’t help but take pause at such precedence of “real world scenarios.” I think an important part of motivating Mathematics is fostering a deep appreciation for its applications as well as its tradition. “Real world” projects can easily become a hasty answer to the deep question of why everyone should study Mathematics. Doing a problem that underscores the real world geometry use in construction, for instance, gives only a shallow understanding of mathematical applications and no appreciation for the tradition of mathematical discovery.