Mathematics is one of humanity's most creative and poetic endeavors.
And it is a disaster that it isn't taught this way to students.
"A Mathematician's Lament" is a classic polemic (later expanded and published as a book) written by math teacher Paul Lockhart. The essay is a devastating and passionate assault on the mechanistic way mathematics is taught in most of our schools.
A Student's Nightmare
Lockhart begins with a vivid parable in which a musician has a nightmare in which music is taught to children by rote memorization of sheet music and formal rules for manipulating notes. In the nightmare, students never actually listen to music, at least not until advanced college classes or graduate school.
The problem is that this abstract memorization and formal-method-based "music" education closely resembles the "math" education that most students receive. Formulas and algorithms are delivered with no context or motivation, with students made to simply memorize and apply them.