Mathematics education

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Fruitful Formula To Mathematics Education

Saturday, July 1st, 2017

Every educator in a teaching environment is bound to encounter a student or two who hates math. Reasons stem from its complexities with numbers and squiggles that give birth into formulas running across blackboards and often not fitting the allocated space. Some dread the need to commit these monstrosities to memory whereas others have no inkling on where or how to apply them to problems splashed across their work books.

To deliver effective mathematics education without causing his charges to run down the halls and scream in terror, a teacher needs to employ creative methods of teaching. Otherwise, learning processes imposed by archaic educational policies become a means to an end of completing the education cycle. Since the ability to learn evolves through the various age levels, the skill and know-how to deliver this task needs to be tailored to achieve maximum penetration. Younger students may benefit from visual representations to solve the mystery on the number of apples in Suzy’s safekeeping after a shopping trip to the store.

Adding to the ante is the infamous challenge to work out train arrival times based on given speeds and distances. By applying a range of techniques to solve the same problem, students learn the ability to look at it from various angles yet reaching similar goals. This then expands the mind to think out routes to solve life’s puzzles as part of their developmental growth.

Other than teaching the subject, professionals trained in mathematics education also gather statistics for the purpose of continual assessment. By observing how the teaching and comprehension of the subject matures through the generations, the importance of math in life becomes more apparent. Qualification in this expertise also allows the educator to branch into other career options. Research and spearheading educational policies are possible areas of advancement. Others may opt for a doctorate degree to instruct other educators at a tertiary level.

The Role of Good Policy Making in Improving High School Mathematics Education

Friday, June 23rd, 2017

The mathematics education in the whole world stands in bad need for reform. The education quality is getting worse. We expect our children to be less capable than us in mathematics due to the low quality mathematics education at the high school level. I do not blame the high school teachers and I do not think that it is their fault. This problem is due to policies and regulations which the teachers really have no hand in.

The policy making is overshadowed by the war between the advocates of traditional education and progressive education. For example the progressive educators in an attempt to improve the mathematics education they created a number of new curricula which were collectively known as New Math. This mathematics was created by university mathematicians. It was about sets, relations, and functions. The teachers were not yet prepared to teach this type of mathematics. This was because they were never given enough training on how to teach it. Besides, the teachers failed to see the importance of New Math. New Math went down quickly and failed within one decade. It left a disastrous legacy that made new proposals for major changes in school mathematics looked upon negatively and steered lots of criticism. This also made the battle between the two major parties of policy making intense.

If we look back at this experiment we see that the main reason behind this failure was because of policies and not because that the new created mathematics field was not useful or suitable. The idea was good but they failed on how to implement it. The implementation of New Math should have been gradual. It should have been accompanied by courses and workshops that teach the teachers the concepts of the subject, why it is important and how to teach it.

The good part about this experience is the coordination between university and high school. The university created New Math to be taught in school. We can learn from this experience that university can take an active role in high school education. After all students study mathematics in school in order to be able to go to university and be successful in engineering, science, or mathematics. If the school student is not well trained in the mathematics in school they will become poor university students and may drop out of university.

A good policy that the education managers could take to improve school mathematics education is to ask universities to support schools in mathematics education. I am not saying that the mathematics departments of all universities should get involved. First of all the mathematics departments’ teaching staff should vote whether they want to get involved in school education or not. Then the departments that vote for this project should ask several members of staff to be committed to it. The university usually approaches industry to solve some of their problems. They can approach schools the same way. They should thing of the school education as the industry of producing successful students which they need at university.

The first problem that will face the mathematics department is that the school teachers may feel threatened by the university staff and feel that they will be replaced. This is why the school teachers should be assured that the prime goal of the university staff is to improve them as teachers and help them do their job better.

The university can help schools in many different ways. For example they can run summer classes for teachers. These classes should go into the depth of the conceptual understanding of the high school mathematics subjects. In addition the classes should teach how the mathematics can be reflected into our real world. It should emphasize how to solve real life problems with mathematics.

Moreover, the classes should introduce the teachers to the many diverse and innovative software calculators. The teacher should learn how to use these calculators to create mathematics laboratory work. They should learn how to make mathematics projects that can be solved using software calculators.

How to Solve Problems in the Mathematics Education Using Calculators

Friday, June 16th, 2017

Mathematics is a very important element in the development of the value and standard of the life of the individual and society. Mathematics enters in everything from science, technology and engineering to arts and social sciences to economics and decision making.

It is very important that society constantly produces new generations of well trained mathematicians. This means that the school should increase the student’s interest and develop his skills in the subject. To achieve this goal the school should see the reasons why students fear mathematics and why many students do very poorly in the subject.

The fist reason for the difficulty of the subject for students is that mathematics is abstract. It is not tangible they can not hold it. To make them understand a pure concept at this early stage is very difficult. They need to relate it to real life problems that they face in their daily lives. This way they will be stimulated by its importance for them and will see that it is useful and fun. Moreover, the use laboratory experiments using calculators would make concepts more understandable. There are many new innovative software calculators built just for this purpose.

The conventional system of teaching mathematics contributes significantly to the poor performance of students. This is because many teachers teach students how to implement algorithms without teaching them the idea behind the algorithms and there is no stress on the understanding of the concepts. This causes the interest level in the subject to decline and soon students develop a disassociation with the subject. To solve this problem the schools can create a mathematics society and a forum where students can communicate with each other discussing material and asking each other questions. This kind of social behavior may increase the student’s interest in the subject.

Students pass early mathematics classes and they are not really fit in the subject. This is because the exams and grading did not reflect the student’s true ability. This causes the students to have very big problems in senior mathematics classes which are dependent on the early classes. For example if we look at the early pupil stage we can imagine a pupil who does not understand the concept of divide and multiply. That is to say when should he divide and when should he multiply. Now can this pupil at a later stage know to solve a word problem? The answer is surely no. He will not know what we are talking about. We can also imagine a student who does not understand the concept of the algebraic equations. This student could not be asked to plot a graph because simply he will not have an idea about what we are speaking about. The teachers can use calculators to teach pupils the concepts of multiply and divide. They can let them experiment on their own with many numbers using the calculators. From the observations the pupils will understand the concepts of multiply and divide. Moreover, teachers could use calculators to teach students the concepts of functions and graphing. It is easy and fun using calculators.

Finally, those who are teaching mathematics may have sufficient knowledge in the subject. They usually have a mathematics degree but this is not enough. To be a teacher you certainly got to be strong in the subject but this is only one major factor in being a successful teacher. The teacher should know about education and student psychology. he should also have a strong personality and be a good leader.