Did you know?
If you take a higher degree in maths, like a Masters, you are most likely to become a Master of Arts and not a Master of science!
Isn’t that worth a thought? Mathematics – a subject so inclined to science… falls under the arts discipline!
We do not know the exact “scientific” or “mathematical” reason why it is so, but there is always a feeling that Mathematics has something to do with art and especially with creativity!
What is maths?
What is maths by the way? Have you ever thought about it?
Is it the number system? The measurement system? Division and multiplication?
Or something else?
Or all of these?
The 16th-century scientist Galileo Galilei said and we quote – “The universe cannot be read until we have learned the language and become familiar with the characters in which it is written. It is written in mathematical language, and the letters are triangles, circles and other geometrical figures, without which means it is humanly impossible to comprehend a single word. Without these, one is wandering about in a dark labyrinth.”
Several other scientists and mathematicians and philosophers have explained mathematics in several other terms!
It has always been the “queen of heart” of scientists and mathematicians and philosophers from ages. And it will continue to be!
Maths – Then and Now
Mathematics has its origin rooted in ancient history when people first learned how to count and measure. The first measuring scale found was from prehistoric ages.
And now we have landed to the time when we are assuming the future on the basis of advanced and applied mathematics.
BUT the real TRAGEDY is that it now is reduced to a status of mere scholastic discipline for kids.
Kids, who are the future generation, kids who are the most imaginative among us, kids who have immense possibilities in them, kids who could be tomorrow’s Einstein or Hawking are taught that Maths is a subject which has to be learned, remembered, practised and scored.
Well, you should!
The Current Status
The current status of maths is miserable. Some fear it, some brag about their ability to solve its problems. And some see it through a distant gaze as if it is an aristocrat wealth – “You can not earn it, you have to inherit it”
(you have to have some sort of mathematical intelligence right from the birth else you are dumb and cannot achieve it by practising.)
The generally perceived ideas of maths being tough and hard to crack and matter of the ‘intelligents’ and blah blah blah… play different roles making Maths a Tragic Hero!
Yes a tragic hero who was from a royal family, worked for the normal people and somehow fate decided him to fall from its status.
Here comes the importance of the saviour! The maths teacher!
although he is supposed to be the product of the same education system as a teacher as he was as a student, still he is the only person who can save Maths from this misery!
Only a teacher can guide the students through the right path where students find maths not only to be interesting but to be extremely creative!
Can maths be creative?
Offcourse! And why not? All the mathematical theories came from real life situations! They had a thought and they went crazy creative about it and discovered something extraordinarily new!
Which in turn should make you think THAT MATHS IS CONNECTED TO LIFE JUST LIKE ALL THE OTHER DISCIPLINES. Believe me, you need to believe this to make maths creatively fun!
In a class, it is the duty of the teacher to be creative about the topic and make the pupils interested in it!
The teacher has to remember he/ she is handling the eggs of immense possibilities!
Hey teacher! Be careful! Maybe, you are nurturing the future Ramanujan or John Nash!
What you should do –
- Make it fun!
Children are responsive most when they are having a fun time! Make the lessons fun for them.
Say for example – If you are introducing shapes to children, you can do this with edibles! Remember, a Marie biscuit has the shape of a circle and a Gulab Jamun of a sphere, a samosa is a pyramid, a sausage – a cylinder and so on…
Is not eating and Learning fun?!
- Go outside the class!
Remember real life instances will always make students understand things better.
Imagine if you are introducing the idea of Area to your students and you go outside the class in the round playground or square premises and make them understand how to measure it practically. They will never ever forget the concept.
You can even explain the theorems this way! Must try sometimes!
- Give real-life problems!
Always give real-life problems to your students. This will make them think in a practical way!
Imagine you are explaining the concept of that famous water reserve tank with a pot with a hole in its bottom under the water tap! They will have fun! You will too.
What should you not?
Do not glorify Maths!
Yes. Do not glorify it. Vibes like Maths is the cup of tea of the students who are intelligent and being good at maths means you are awesome as a student is very very harmful to students.
Maths is a practice of deducting logical conclusion from logical sequences. You need to make them understand that everyone has that common sense in them to understand the logic behind the problem.
So, rather than glorifying maths, generalise it.
- Do not De-Glorify maths or make it too ordinary!
Yes. some teachers want to be too cool and too casual about maths. They say being poor in maths is okay. They give instances like Einstein being poor in maths!
Do a research! This is definitely not true! Einstein was always very bright in maths and completed learning higher level mathematics like calculus at the age of 13!
You need maths to handle your real life! You cannot ignore the fact!
- Do not just tell the what, tell the why and the how
Yes, this is one of the most important things a teacher should remember. Only introducing the facts does not matter. Tell them the why and the how. This will make the logical sequence in their mind and they will never feel disconnected about the theories through their lifetime.
There are hundreds of other ideas of making maths fun, of making class fun, of making study fun!
You just need to find out your own way!
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