One goal of classical education is to make connections between the various subjects our students study. I have found that students who have an aversion to math can have their attitudes changed by simply telling them some of the stories of famous mathematicians. There is something powerful about story that helps some students connects to math on a personal level as they relate to these people of the past. Also, these stories from math’s history help students see the subject as more than just problems on a textbook page, but as a world of God’s glory that we humans have only begun to discover.
One of the videos that I show the students I work with each year is a lecture by mathematics professor John Dersch. Since we don’t have time in our class to go deep into the history of mathematics, I use this video as a “crash course.” I usually show half the video one week and discuss it with the students, and then the second half the following week. It’s truly fascinating.