CTET 2015 Exam Notes : TEACHING OF MATHEMATICS
PROBLEMS OF TEACHING IN MATHEMATICS
Mathematics which is an interesting subject is considered as a dry, hard and uninteresting one by the common persons and students. The main reason behind it is the lack of interest in the learners to the subject and tendency to memorize the content without comprehension. The content memorized or learnt without comprehending it, is generally forgotten. Therefore, to arouse and maintain the student’s interest in mathematics is a major problem for the teacher.
Problems of teaching in mathematics arise due to various factors. Details of factors/causes are as under:
Mathematics which is an interesting subject is considered as a dry, hard and uninteresting one by the common persons and students. The main reason behind it is the lack of interest in the learners to the subject and tendency to memorize the content without comprehension. The content memorized or learnt without comprehending it, is generally forgotten. Therefore, to arouse and maintain the student’s interest in mathematics is a major problem for the teacher. This problem can be overborne by applying appropriate devices and techniques of teaching. A natural curiosity should be awakened among the students by presenting the things in an exciting manner. This awakening of curiosity would create interest in them and develop their attention towards the subject.
It is a well known fact that students work most effectively at task in which they are genuinely interested. Students readily become interested in a thing which in new or exciting and perceived b them to be useful in their life. So, the teaching can be made more effective and interesting by correlating the subject matter with the things already studied or known by the students. Thus, the elements of novelty, usefulness, curiosity and relatedness are primary stimuli for awakening the interest. Some special devices and activities may also be adopted to arouse and maintain the interest in the subject.
Maintaining Interest in Mathematics
The most important task of a mathematics teacher, especially at secondary level, is the creation of interest in the students towards the mathematics and to maintain it. This is not an easy task. The teacher has to do a purposeful planning for it. The use of stimuli is also essential for it. Novelty, utility, curiosity and relatedness are basic stimuli for awakening the interest in the subject. It is easier to develop interest in the student to their work but it is difficult task to keep them interested after the novelty work is worn off. So, the teacher should always try to keep interest alive by making the teaching interesting.
Activities to be employed to maintain the interest in Mathematics:
- Intellectual Activity
- Multi-sensory aids and devices
- Knowledge of practical utility
- Correlation with other fields of study
- Emphasis on vocational value
- Emphasis on recreational value
- Practical work
- Follow the principle of change
- Provide the psychological conditions for study
- Precision of suitable physical conditions for study
- Individual attention.
Maintaining Effective Learning in Mathematics
Learning is a dynamic process. It takes place through so many activities and avenues. The learning of mathematics involves various activities such as reading, writing, computing, comparison, analysing, interpreting, thinking, questioning, working with material objects etc. In all these activities reasoning and logical thinking is common. The suitable planning of these activities leads to desired understanding of the subject.
The effective or meaningful learning is a product of effective teaching. It can also be said that effective teaching induces effective learning. It is very difficult to give a specific formula for effective teaching but certain measures and techniques can be adopted to make the teaching, effective. Some important suggestions in this regard may be:
- Selection and organisation of content of mathematics according to age and mental level of students.
- Adoption of simple and interesting method for presenting the content.
- Providing sufficient opportunities for exercises and practice.
- Frequent application of knowledge and skills learnt by the students to avoid forgetting.
- There should a provision for individual differences in the instructional procedure.
- The aims and objectives of teaching the subject and its particular topic should be very clear.
- Efforts for transfer of learning to other fields.
In view of organisation and application, mathematics is a cumulative and continuously expanding subject. While presentation a new content, a teacher has to face four main instructional problems:
- To help the students in achieving the initial understanding of new concepts and their relations.
- To help the student in making the threshold understanding into a sound and comprehensive understanding.
- To help in maintaining the attained knowledge and skills.
- To help in preparing the background for significant transfer of attained knowledge and skills to their physical, social and intellectual environment.
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