Mathematics is not being taught well in school

There have always been children whose abilities did not seem to be made for the understanding and practice of mathematics , and this was sponsored many times by the confirmation of that same lack of ability on the part of one of their parents. Certainly, many people find it difficult to cope with mathematics , and this causes many problems for students related to nerves, anger and distress. In fact, it is such a common and permanent problem that around it there is a term known as “ mathematical anxiety ”.

 

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But why is this problem not tackled in a more effective way? For example, with campaigns to stimulate and encourage the practice of mathematics, as is done with the campaigns created to promote reading. In fact, if we think about it, both activities have a lot to do with it, since it is not possible for a student to cope successfully with mathematics if they do not understand what they read and what they have before their eyes. Children need to learn and have academic vocabulary in order to read proficiently and understand complex content.

In this sense, there are many mathematics teachers who are aware that there is a problem and that problem is not “that there are children denied to mathematics”, but rather that there are topics that must be banished as soon as possible and put into action. the search for new strategies and didactics of mathematics teaching . The gap between children’s mathematical skills and what they demonstrate on a test is only one of the proofs of the limited or no effectiveness of current teaching methods. Furthermore, unfortunately, many teachers are reluctant to abandon traditional forms of teaching in which there is an approach and a solution to a problem that must be learned by heart.

In other words, mathematics is being taught incorrectly and there is still much to be done for schools to react to this problem and put the proper solutions. Perhaps a good way to start would be to banish such fallacious ideas as that there are good and bad kids in math or that there is only one way to learn math and that some children are reluctant to follow it or are less valid.

Patience and empathy, keys to a new mathematical teaching

Many children who have struggled with math, and were even “written off” by their teachers, all they needed was to sit down and take time (which often happened in the company of their parents) in order to learn and move forward. And this makes sense, since memory is what is most often worked on when teaching mathematical formulas, at the least that someone skips a step they will no longer understand anything.

 

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The didactics of teaching through the exercise of memory is obvious that the brain of all people does not work in the same way, and therefore the same study method cannot be valid for an entire student body . Unfortunately, the shortage of teachers and the lack of time make it very difficult for different methods to be adapted according to the capacities of each one, and that is also a reality. However, there are many things that can be done to improve, such as boosting students’ self-esteem by making them see that they can face operations successfully , instead of calling them to the blackboard knowing that they are not yet clear, to pass it on evil and fail in battle.

It is very important to be aware that rote learning cannot work with mathematics , and that what this discipline really needs is creativity, gymnastics and confidence with a long way to go with different aspects. Why not involve students in solving problems instead of forcing them to learn and follow certain rules? That is, not simply teaching to follow the rules to achieve a good grade, but working so that mathematics is seen as that path that leads us to the effective resolution of problems in a fun way. In short, look for new strategies and realities that really focus and fight to make children love numbers, just as it is done to make them love letters.

 

John Mighton’s “Jump Math” Method

John Mighton, a Canadian mathematician, writer, and playwright, is known today for his fervent struggle for a new teaching of mathematics. In this sense, Mighton has designed a teaching program aimed especially at those students who do not achieve good results in the subject, and has achieved that these students get to really enjoy this important subject, whatever ability they have.

Mighton identified two main problems in teaching mathematics: the first is the overloading of children’s brains with strategies that move too quickly between the concrete and the abstract, which leads to an almost mandatory use of memory ; the second, that classes tend to end up being divided by ability, creating hierarchies that disable the weakest students without actually benefiting those considered better.

 

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According to Mighton, ending this problem and this traditional way of teaching mathematics involves so-called “problem-based learning,” which indicates that the true role of teachers should not be to provide direct instruction, but to allow children to collaborate to find solutions to complex and realistic problems that have multiple approaches and answers. As many children do not have a priori the basic components necessary to discover the answers, they must work little by little through “a guided discovery” capable of making each step that is taken understood. That is why the key to the “Jump” program begins in a progressive way in a relatively short time, increasing the confidence of the little ones and motivating them to continue and trust themselves and their abilities.

As we can see, the Mighton method is nothing new, but it is a very necessary push today to face our reality, which is none other than that mathematics is being poorly taught, putting urgent and creative solutions. Only with exercises and dynamics in which all students can participate successfully, at a greater or lesser pace, can the passion for numbers be awakened in all kinds of girls and boys.

 

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