For most, the word "maths" will stir upfeelings of irritation and letdown. Acomment resembling "i was so bad atmath" will most certainly emerge.Usually thats the end of how much wethink about maths. For some of us it isa different story. For some, the word"maths" stirs up feelings of pride andconfidence in ones abilities; anacknowledgment of just how much mathshas helped us in life and how manyopportunities for education and careerit exposed us to. What a difference inperspective. Why does maths not clickfor so many?
Maths is rarely taught cooperatively- with partners, groups or teams. Yetto succeed at it, math requires a lotof discussion, feedback andreflection. Reflection in particularis important - unlike many subjectsunderstanding of hard math problemscomes in layers and reflection isnecessary.
Maths is rarely taught globally - withthe big picture in mind. It is usuallytaught in small micro-chunks.Relationships between topics areneglected and concepts become toopatchy to remember. Some topics arelearned out of context, without theirreal value emphasised. Algebra is aprime example. Often taught as justanother topic, algebra is so muchmore. If mathematics were a languagethen algebra would be its grammar,syntax and punctuation.
Maths is rarelytaught with realworld relevance.Theorems andformulas becomemore distantfrom a studentslife than theyreally are.Maths seemsuseless andstudents resortto memorizingmaths instead ofunderstandingit.Maths is rarelytaught proactively- with teachersencouraging lotsof questions and adeepunderstanding.Teachers havestrict guidelines,large classes andlimited time. Theresult is many,many gaps inknowledge.
Most importantly, maths is nevertaught strategically with a focuson the learning skills required tosucceed. Unknowingly students relyon memorizing rules and processeswhich simply does not work formaths. Those hard word problemsthat we all hated cannot beanswered by remembering maths.Problem solving and lateralthinking are required -unfortunately they are notexplicitly taught at school.
http://brilliant.org/Students who start to learn maths theright way can often improve by 20-35%in just months. As grades improve,further study and careeropportunities become available.Students can finally join the groupfor whom the word "maths" stirs upfeelings of pride and confidence.