Concepts and Skills

S. Sundaram

The most difficult subject at school can actually be made interesting if presented in a visual form with activity materials.

maths-updateMathematics is universally considered as “the most difficult” subject at the school level, both by students and teachers because the nature of mathematics has not been understood. In this article I will attempt to explain the nature of mathematics and how to use this understanding to improve the teaching/ learning of mathematics. I will confine myself to mathematics at the primary school where the foundation of the subject has to be laid.

Understanding Mathematics
Mathematics is full of concepts followed by skills. There are very few facts in mathematics to be remembered. Concepts have to be understood by students by relating it to their previous knowledge or experience. A teacher cannot ‘teach’ concepts. She can only facilitate formation of concepts. Further, the concepts are arranged in a hierarchical structure much like a house of cards. Higher-level concepts cannot be mastered unless all the related lower level concepts have been understood.

S.Sundaram is principal, Atul Vidyalaya, Atul, District Valsad, Gujrat 396020. He can be reached at

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