The Joy Of Learning Mathematics

The Joy of Learning Mathematics

Executive Summary about Mathematics by Uma Shankari

Learning Mathematics

Learning Mathematics

For many students, maths is a phobia at par with the fear of snakes, lizards, elevators, water, flying, public speaking, and heights. Explaining the dismal scenario that the report portrays, especially about mathematics – forty two per cent of children between seven to ten years cannot subtract – Kulkarni says that the children are turned off, because the straitjacketed conventional teaching in classrooms has squeezed out the joy of learning, turning the schools into robotic factories.

Outdated teaching methods and an outdated curriculum – far removed from the students’ everyday experiences – contribute nothing to a student’s appreciation of the subject. Both parents and teachers should convey the message that learning mathematics can be fun. Their expressions of interest, sense of wonder and enjoyment are critical to the child’s interest in the subject.

“Parents are the first mentors for a child. Even before the children can be formally admitted in pre-school kindergartens, they can start playing with numbers,” suggests Dr.MJ Thomas, a child psychologist in the city. “While the other sciences have some amount of hands on activity included in the syllabus and the idea of a physics, chemistry or biology lab is common, maths is still taught only by the chalk and talk method,” says Dr. S.N.Gananath, recipient of Ashoka Fellowship for innovations in teaching activity-based mathematics.

Dr. Gananath has designed Maths Kits, with charts, diagrams and games, to explain various difficult concepts in Mathematics, like place-value, fractions or decimals. “Learning does not mean simply “knowing” facts; but understanding the underlying concepts that are anchored in experience,” says H.N.Parmesh, head-master of Born Free, a government school in the village of Banjarpalya, off Banaglore-Mysore road. Parmesh and his team of dedicated teachers have used inexpensive materials like match-boxes and coloured beads made of baked clay to make educational aids that they affirm have helped the slow learners to understand maths better.

Several organizations like the Akshara Foundation and the Azim Premji Foundation, with support from corporate bigwigs, have collaborated with the government and used computers to capture the bored rural children’s attention, and spur their curiosity and imagination. However, using computer effectively to support teaching is no easy task. IT can be innovatively used to usher in interactive learning, as has been attempted by Oracle Education Foundation, which has designed a web-based educational environment – think.com for teachers and students in Bangalore, and elsewhere. The website has made the students more creative and the teachers more responsive and accessible to students.

Games and puzzles are a sure way to aid learning. Learning must be guided by generalized principles in order to discover strategies for problem solving. Knowledge learned through rote memory rarely transfers to new, even though similar, situations.

Teachers should be facilitators of learning; they should stimulate thinking, which would lead to self-discovery, so that the child experiences the sheer joy of learning.

Mathematics

The Joy of Learning Mathematics >>You Must Know About Education Learning And Teaching

Education | School | Teacher | Media | Curriculum

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2 Responses to “The Joy Of Learning Mathematics”

  1. Teach Your Kids Arithmetic « You Must Know About Education Learning And Teaching Says:

    […] You Must Know About Education Learning And Teaching Education | School | Teacher | Media | Curriculum « The Joy Of Learning Mathematics […]

  2. Lesson Plans « You Must Know About Education Learning And Teaching Says:

    […] are teacher lesson plans available for pretty much every subject including science, mathematics, English, social studies, and even art and music. These plans are available for every grade level […]

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