Mathematics can cause humiliation, anxiety, resentment and even fear to a lot of people and to some degree all of us.
This is a subject whose tests and examinations put students through stress and sleepless nights before the main day. It is one of the hardest subjects to be taught because most teachers struggled through colleges and universities to study it themselves.
Whenever a survey is carried on mathematics, there is always negativity associated with it due to its popular phobia. Do we blame the teacher, parents, peers or the students involved?
There is a great need to teach mathematics to an extent in schools because of the way the world is heading with science and technology.
It is no longer about memorizing formulas or facts and teaching according to what was taught since the inception of mathematics in a monotony routine. Today, there is a challenge to make students understand every bit of its concepts, methods and facts so it can be easily applied to a variety of principles and procedures. All countries are reviewing their mathematics curriculums and evaluation standards in their schools to meet up to the modern challenge in the world.
How can mathematics be taught in schools?
A lot of concepts have been designed to meet the need of students especially with those having difficulty in understanding and learning maths. The first thing that can be done by a teacher is to start the students with a firm foundation in understanding the basic concepts.
The end result of a maths question is either right or wrong because the method applied determines the answer. There is no jumping of sequences in studying maths, a student must be taught the proper methodology and procedure from the 'A' before getting to 'B'
Those simple routines and terminologies we learned from elementary school suddenly come to play as we step up in higher classes. It begins with addition and subtraction, multiplication and division. This is where the first teacher of mathematics needs to build on those been taught.
The teacher must make sure his pupils are well grounded in these building blocks so that the next teacher will be able to introduce another level of theorems in maths. As simple as this may sound, it is not very easy to implement if a teacher is not enthusiastic and patient with experience. It is the duty of a maths teacher to instill the confidence of maths in his students.
In teaching mathematics in schools, concepts, algorithms and processes must be explained. How can these three ideas be successfully introduced to the teachers?
The teachers must change their old orientation in mathematics and see what the subject has turned to be nowadays. Also teachers should learn how to demonstrate and be manipulative in teaching with appetizers like games.
If the teachers can be patient enough to learn about the problems of each student that is facing maths problem, there would be a lot of tremendous achievement in the success of maths. The world cannot do without mathematics and this is a challenge for every country to tackle.