Dr. Anna Neena George
For most people mathematics is a mystery; a subject they are afraid of and treat with reverence. If you have a flair for mathematics, people believe you possess extraordinary abilities. As a matter of fact, mathematics can be related to many of life’s situations and thereby made easy to comprehend. Teachers can use such situations to help children relate to maths and therefore to grasp it easily; in fact, in the primary classes, they might easily be able to instill a love of mathematics.
Most children in school are answer-centered rather than problem-centered. Practically everything we do in school tends to make children answer-centered because right answers are a payoff. They see the problem as a kind of announcement, as if far off in some mysterious answer land, there is an answer that they are supposed to find. Some try to get the right answer out of the teacher. Little children often appear so baffled that the teacher will usually tell them what they need to do.
The volume of work given to children also forces them to an answer-directed strategy. When the work load is less kids are willing to do some thinking. So called higher standards in the school results in children who are too busy to think! Here are some ideas that you can use to shift the balance.
The author is reader, GVM College of Education, Goa. She can be reached at [email protected].