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Saturday, December 15, 2018

The math way of life | Education - The Hindu

National Mathematics Day is observed on December 22.

When taught effectively, students come to love the subject and subsequently benefit from its long-term positive consequences, as The Hindu reports. 

Photo: The Hindu

Being a mathematics and physics teacher, I have had the privilege of interacting with thousands of parents and students from diverse backgrounds. Also, being a part of one of the world’s largest education companies, I have also had the opportunity of interacting with some of the finest educators from around the world.

In all of these conversations, a question I am asked often is why, despite a rich ancient mathematics culture, India does not produce great mathematicians. Is it a reflection of the quality of math education in the country? Does it demonstrate a common aptitude amongst Indians? Is there a ‘gene’ that determines whether you excel in this subject or not? Well, I have a slightly different way of looking at it and I believe there is no better time to share this than with the National Mathematics Day around the corner on December 22.

Being good at math versus being a good mathematician are two very different things. A mathematician is someone who is a specialist or an expert and is most likely pursuing research in this field. Being ‘good at math’, however, can be evaluated in various ways...

Tackling the fear
While the importance of math is uncontested, I see a common aversion to this subject across students of all age groups, especially young adults. Traditionally, maths has been taught in an abstract manner which makes it one of the ‘most feared’ subjects. Understanding and exploring math concepts is still driven by the fear of exams instead of the love for the subject. In fact, the fear of maths continues to live through most of our adult lives too.
Read more... 

Source: The Hindu