Essay: The Various Ways about Maths
A subject as interesting, practical and dynamic as Mathematics has so many dimensions to it that teaching it can be a challenge. However, if known about the right technique and the psychology of their students, teachers can really do wonders in not only communicating it to the minds of the students successfully but also making it an enjoyable experience at the same time.
Math is taught to American Children in a variety of different ways. One of the popular approaches involves letting the children solve problems in more than one ways and explaining to them why something is the way it is. An alternate approach is providing children the information that can help them solve a problem, but making it the only way to solve that problem. This technique is also termed as the ‘Parrot Math’ as a parrot can only speak what it hears and cannot really come up with something on his own. This technique is a little low as long as innovation is concerned as it is based on the strategy of seeing a problem, solving equations, doing necessary calculations, finding exact solutions and moving on.
Although this technique is fast and relatively more result oriented which is why a few critics across America have urged the schools to return to the parrot math approach so as to make the children be at the same pace as the leading countries. The other side of the story on the other hand reveals the lack of ability this technique offers for children to actually discover math. They are unable to find the meaning in math, discover new ways, and learn how to estimate or determine the significance and application of a problem in practical life. Math becomes more of a memory test than a proper mental problem solving exercise.
Some critics on the other hand stress that math should make such sense to children that can help them discover and enhance their thinking ability. They should know why a problem is the way it is, what does it imply and what can be the various ways to go about it.
The ideal way would however be an approach somewhere between the above two. Children should learn the basics through parrot math and then expand on what they have learned through applying what they have learned to life situations. This may not be a perfect method, but surely an effective one and better than the above ones.
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