Mathematics – if the mentioning of this subject in your home brings tears, complaints or avoidance, you are not alone. What are we doing wrong and how should we be helping our children to understand maths better and ultimately maybe even enjoy it?
Many of us aren’t solving equations in our everyday working life and so it is understandable to waver in our resolve when children question if maths should be part of the school curriculum. Maths is not just about numbers and formulas;when done correctly, it teaches problem solving using logical thinking and reasoning skills. Skills, some may argue that are useful in many aspects of daily life.
For many parents, there is the expectation that the education system is providing the best platform for studying such a challenging subject. The Australian Government has placed extra focus in this area through its initiative to expand the resources behind the teaching of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) subjects in primary and secondary schools. Under this new improvement, students are also shown the career paths that can stem from these subjects.
How maths is being taught inside the classroom greatly affects the way students feel about the subject. “Everything About The Way We Teach Maths Is Wrong” by Andy Kiersz shows us the difference between teaching rote learning and providing the resources to allow students to work out mathematical solutions. Kiersz draws on ‘A Mathematical Lament’ by Paul Lockhart to illustrate the benefits of engaging and helping students to understand the logic behind maths. He argues that teaching students a system of memorising formulas and algorithms “without context” creates a monotonous environment where students ultimately give up and lose interest.
If we are constantly teaching maths as a set path of instructions that you must follow using predetermined equations, we are not allowing students to learn properly. They are not encouraged to use their minds to work out the solution. Where is the creative thinking in that?
We must provide the platform for students to realise their potential. If we teach them to think and approach maths differently, we are encouraging active engagement in a subject which traditionally has never been too exciting. We must be always helping our children to understand maths better.
As parents, you can’t step into the classroom, but there are ways you can help from home. Some suggestions include:
If we can at least get them excited about learning maths, half the battle might be over.
Remember, maths is supposed to be challenging – not punishing.
To find out how our teaching staff can help your child look at maths differently and understand it better, check out our Courses pages.
Be sure to check out this space, as we deep dive further in the near future to providing more detailed tips and tricks.
Here at Global Education Academy, we believe that all students need to understand in order to learn. Our founder, Dr Majeda Awawdeh always teaches with cognitive load theory in mind. Within our classrooms, we don’t just teach children and students to memorise the questions, we teach them the knowledge and then provide them with the tools to problem solve. We teach every student individually based off their ability, so no student is ever left behind.
To find out more, contact us.