Select Page

As puzzling as it may seem Trigonometry is a mantra for advanced Mathematics. It trains the mind to comprehend and analyze complex data with rigorous symbols. Some students tend to naturally like this branch of Mathematics while some are driven away from it. Let us consider the latter. Students who fear the subject tend to feel that it requires powerful memory. This is a subconscious fear as a reaction to the number of symbols that need to be internalized. It is alarming to note that this pattern of fear has lasted for generations. In every class when Trigonometry is introduced there is always a new set of students who dislike the subject. It might help to grasp what exactly is a Trigonometric identity.

When a student understands trigonometric identities the subject then becomes more approachable. It is quite true that Mathematics as a whole focuses more on application of mind rather than facts to be memorized. But sometimes combining the two faculties of the mind can work wonders for students young and old. It would be advisable therefore to introduce the topic of Trigonometric identities to students in order for them to grasp the nature of Trigonometric symbols more easily. By understanding how equalities function across different identities they will comprehend the nature of values. Then there is another feature associated with students, who run away from Trigonometry which is a modern one. It is that people these days use gadgets to calculate complex data and therefore Trigonometry to a larger or lesser extent is perceived to be outmoded. The truth however remains that no Mathematical concept can be too outmoded for intellectual attention and sharpening of cognition.

Mathematics functions at two levels and they are pure and applied. Pure Mathematics is theoretical but has a tremendous impact on our thinking which indirectly we can use to transform our outlook. Then applied Mathematics has specific applications which can serve utilitarian purposes. Now students need to understand that if a subject is primarily theoretical it does not follow that it does not help us in any other way. The Aesthetic school of thought held that pure Mathematics is useless like Art but at a deeper level it transforms our abilities to deal with finer aspects of reality. This is true for Trigonometry as well. Trigonometry still has some applications but that does not determine the relevance of the subject to individual cognition. Tutors can explore the subject and help learners identify with it thereby resolving the value crisis that may ensue otherwise.