In a recent survey which showed that people or rather let me be more precise students would rather do odd jobs which involves serious labour than solve mathematical problems. I have come to realise that students would prefer to eat their worst food than do a math problem.
No one (almost nobody) learns to see the beauty of mathematics without help. When I say without any help, they must have been at least been given pointers or at least being told that 1+1=2 or even being pointed towards certain books or puzzles. And most of us simply weren’t helped. Which is a longwinded way of saying, “It’s school’s fault.”
My primary and secondary math teachers ranged from excellent to OK, but with one or two exceptions, none of them seemed passionate about the subject matter they taught, it is like they say “its situations or the condition of the water that made the crayfish bend’’. Probably the situation of the country or after seeking for green pastures and to no avail, they remebered how good they were in matematics at the secondary school level.
Many math teachers teach it mechanically, without given any real-life examples to illustrate or even buttress the point emphatically. In the lower grades, mathematics is often taught as an exercise in repeating answers from memory. There were no class discussions, just rules to memorize.
This is an actual conversation a student had with his mathematic teacher
Student: “Why do I have to learn trigonometry?”
Teacher: “Because it prepares you for pre-calculus.”
Student: “Why do I have to learn pre-calculus?”
Teacher: “Well obviously, because it prepares you for calculus.”
(The Student was speechless and just walked away)
I studied mathematics in the university, it was so challenging. I came across things like Wronskian, Eigen, Advanced Algebra, and trust me I had not known a quarter of algebra before being introduced to advanced alegbra. For the First time I trly understood when a chemistry teacher once said “Some people will understand this course when in few minutes time, others when they get home, others towards the examination and others after the examination”. I understood a particular 300L course title Groups and Rings after the examination, though ended up getting a 40 in that course.
Few math teachers are “friendly”,or even “cool” the weirdest and strangest math teacher I had at university spent the whole class writing on the board, was he too shy to turn around to look at the class? Or was he just enjoying taking to the board?
Math engages entirely different ways of considering and experiencing the world than any other discipline. That ability to think about any new abstract realm you encounter, it turns out, is incredibly useful. So instead of giving up, you should keep gnawing on it, and you might try a different angle of explanation, and sure enough, you’d get it.
Seeds of confidence will grow with a child, as well as seeds of self-doubt. As a parent,a guardian, a teacher, a friend or anyone for that matter, be careful what you tell a child. Everything is potentially a seed and so is Mathematics
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