Hanuman’s tail – continued fractions and Ramanujan

V S S Sastry
The tragedy of school mathematics is that it restricts the teacher and students to the textbook. The teacher and therefore the students as well are not encouraged to go beyond the textbook and explore the world of mathematics. It seems that children are being kept away from the magic and beauty of math, why otherwise would such a fascinating topic like continued fractions be dropped from textbooks?

Maths education in India: policy and reality

Rajesh Kumar Thakur
When we talk about India’s contribution to mathematics, we only look to history and talk about our glorious achievements in the past. Why did we stop contributing to the field of mathematics? While we have been grappling with this question for some time, we haven’t been able to do anything on the ground to change the situation. What are we not seeing when formulating policies? And what can we do to bring about actual change?

Moving from fear to fascination

Umamaheswari Subramanian
From a passive chalk and talk teacher in the Indian classroom to a more active and thinking teacher in the American classroom, this teacher shares how with the passage of time and experience she blossomed into a better math teacher even as she taught her students to love math.

Math for the mind’s eye

Kalyani C
Life is a challenge for the visually impaired. Imagine then studying an abstract subject like mathematics. This is not to say that the visually impaired students are, therefore, not capable of studying mathematics but they do need the assistance of specialized tools like the Braille slate and Cranmar abacus. Schools, especially the regular schools practicing inclusion, have to make sure that they are well-equipped to teach the visually impaired, for these students are no less than the sighted students.

The multiple challenges of math

Sudha Ganesh Chella and Anuradha Jaishankar
Most children consider math problematic. While we can attribute some of this difficulty to the way math is taught, it is also true that there are some children who have a genuine problem understanding math because of learning difficulties. With more and more children being diagnosed with dyslexia, dyscalculia, etc., teachers have to know what these learning difficulties entail and how they can develop strategies to help their students learn despite these difficulties.

Rewriting math textbooks

Swati Sircar
The subjects we learn in school are inter-related and not independent of each other. The textbooks we use should therefore reflect this fluidity and flexibility. Read on to find out how a group of dedicated educators came together to develop primary school textbooks that incorporated inclusion, sustainable development and local culture to teach mathematical concepts. Now isn’t that an example worth emulating?

The not-so-hidden aesthetics of maths

B S Shylaja
Mathematics is a beautiful subject and its beauty can be found in abundance, surprisingly, in music and old scriptures and texts. In the arrangement of musical notes or the description of the forms of Vishnu, you can see the most intelligent use of permutations and combinations.

Why Maths?

Aditi Mathur and Ratnesh Mathur
Why should we study maths? This is a question that math teachers everywhere have had to answer at some point or other. Are students right in asking this question? Can’t problem solving and analytical skills that math develops in children be instilled in other ways? Do all children need to learn beyond basic mathematics? Or can we give children the option, after they have attained a certain level of competency in mathematics, to stop studying it and maybe take up a subject of their choice instead?

The gentle man who taught infinity

Sheshagiri K.M Rao
Despite the mediocre education system that we have, there are many teachers who rise above and give their students more than what is expected of them. Passionate teachers can rub off their love for the subject on to their students helping them become lifelong learners as well. Channakeshava was one such teacher and we hope his story will inspire more teachers to be like him.

What’s it about math?

S Sundaram
When it comes to math, fear is the most palpable emotion that students seem to experience? Now why is it that so many students are afraid of math? The answer lies in the composition of the subject, which requires teachers to approach the teaching of math differently. As teachers, it is our job to replace the fear of math in our students with fascination because math has permeated all walks of life and there is no escaping it.