Our mathematics system has failed us greatly within the last few decades. Students are often not provoked into creative and deep questions. Textbooks are used as sources not resources. Our students are heavily dependent on calculators and other means of computation outside of the natural brain. We depend to heavily on technology to relieve us of the burden of teaching. It seems as if our students are graded on single subject or material aptitude rather than retention and understanding of how one area relates to another. For example, addition and multiplication have a likeness in much of the same manner in which division and subtraction have a likeness.How do we revamp a broken system? I will offer a few suggestions
- We have to show our students the benefits of math, why it matters, and how to conquer it. Education has to be interesting among all things. We have to show them the passion and intensity that learning takes. Passion catches on.
- Show them the many correlations that math offers. If you know how to add, you can easily learn how to multiply. If you know how to subtract, dividing won’t be so bad. If this 4 basic skills are strong, then other aspects such as algebra, geometry, and calculus aren’t as intimidating. Basics are key in all things, especially math.
- Teach the material, not the test. Society is results driven as results are in indicator of success. However, we have to be careful to prepare students for college, not just for the next grade. Our students should have a broad ranged knowledge of a lot of things, not just a high amount of knowledge in one thing.
- Communication between parents, teachers, administrators. Parents should always be proactive, teachers should be hospitable and understanding, administrators should see the big picture of the student and not a commodity that needs to be put to a price.