The Cornerstones of Mastering Math 4/4: Practice
What is the reason that most students think that math is only memorizing and practicing endless list of formulas?
Earlier and sometimes even today schools put too much attention to mechanical practice. I agree that you have to have routine in math which you can get only by practicing. We need to have perseverance so that we don’t give up too easily. Individual questions, applications, quizzes and tests are important, but if that is building the only learning environment, the mathematics is too far from student interest and life.
Successful Math pedagogy is a question of balance. Instead of having the same structure for each lesson, lessons should include Learning by Doing, Social Learning, Interdisciplinary Math and Practice. With different approaches teacher can support and develop such skills as critical thinking, problem solving and decision making.
As a teacher I know that students love to work together face by face but they also want to practice alone their personal skills with different technology approaches. Teamwork can be best practiced when you are a member of the group. When you want to find the routine or sharpen your skills, then you may want to work alone and the technology can lead you longer in your skills than you ever thought.
Learning is a personal, nuanced and complex human activity – and there’s need for multiple paths and approaches.
Math is not a list of rules to be remembered. Math is a tool to look at the world that really makes sense. Math is not anymore boring but challenging, stimulating and even FUN.