Enjoy Math in a Practical and Learner-Friendly Way
Posted on: July 12, 2014. Comments ( 8 )

Author: Subbalakshmi Kumar, Educationist, Pune

The math curriculum in schools needs a huge overhaul so that children—especially in the primary sections—can enjoy and learn math and not be terrorized by it.

When I help my daughter with her school studies at home, I simplify the stuff that is dealt with in the textbooks. The textbooks her school uses are the new-age textbooks which have workbooks and even teachers’ guidelines. But again it is the same old syllabus in a new form. The text books are preachy, coming heavily down upon the children, leaving no scope for them to think on their own.

The math sums are far removed from reality. For instance, sums like “a man had 350 monkeys as pets…” or “a guy promised to pay 15 times the fee amount if he was happy with the carpenter’s work…” and such ridiculously unreal sums are mindlessly posed to children.

And in social sciences the chapter on waste management deals with it as though waste is no problem at all to the people and as if incinerators are a boon to humankind as they magically solved all problems!

It is not enough to just write a textbook. It must be done keeping in mind the educational needs of the children in this dynamic age and the need for a strong foundation on which the academic future of the children is structured. The curriculum has to be drawn and textbooks, teachers guidelines, evaluation frameworks for teachers, lesson plans and a complete homework schedule have to be created. Mindsets have to change. The child and the learning process—not the content—have to be at the centre around which everything else revolves.

The task of realizing such a big change is daunting. It begins with effecting one small change in one subject—the need to create designs that would help the children to learn things at their own pace, without stressing them out and without expecting teachers, schools or parents to make drastic changes. Novelty is one such initiative.

….by Subbalakshmi Kumar, Educationist (www.mathtweets.com)


Comments (8)

 

  1.  
    Gayathri Majid Khan says:

    Hi All,
    To make Math a fun experience, we are starting an I-Maths class beginning this August for age groups 3.5 yrs upto 8 yrs. The class will be held at The Learning Curve, pre schoo,l which is located on Central Avenue road, opp 10th road, Chembur east. Please visit the centre for more details. Enroll your child for a free demo class.

  2.  
    Subbalakshmi says:

    Thanks Anu Koshy
    I agree math can be made fun, interesting, simple and relevant for the child. We have developed initiatives that are parent-driven to build a strong foundation for math among children in primary grades. Mathtweets is one such program!

  3.  
    Anuradha says:

    Mam,
    Thanks for the article. I always wonder to see the impractical examples of Maths. The educationists can do something to make Maths curriculum more of life based than of some myth. As you say it is same old syllabus.
    Make the education with simple life application based examples and incidents instead of complicating the subject please.

    •  
      Subbalakshmi says:

      Thanks Anuradha,
      There are initiatives to make math relevant and enjoyable, unfortunately they are few and do not reach everyone.

      •  
        Sudipta Das says:

        Mam,

        Truly practical article in todays scenario and very nice. Today even i got a mail through yokibu to try ‘walk far with math’. i dnt know whether i sud ask or nt… ll it be helpful for my 3 yr old son who is now in nursery… guide me pls mam.

        •  
          Subbalakshmi says:

          Thanks Sudipta, Age 3 is for working with real solid things in everyday life that will help him count and understand numbers – not thru worksheets. After he comes to Std I you can walk far with Math… :)

          •  
            Anu Koshy Thaikadavil says:

            Dear Ma’am
            I really appreciate the article.Being the Head of Mathematics in an International School I have already started working towards it .Math Learning can be made interesting through innovation. Just with the articles available around you can introduce the concepts in a fun filled manner.We follow the maxim of ‘Learning through Fun”.I hope the educators across the world should focus on this task and we can make wonders!!!!!

        •  
          Sudipta Das says:

          Thank u mam for guiding me in such a simple way….


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