Mathematical intelligence is only one among the many types
of intelligences put forward by Edward Gardener in his theory of multiple
intelligence. But in our society, there is a myth that if a child is
intelligent, he has to score well in math. Generally, we find many school going
children having difficulties with mathematics and which is why maths tuition
teachers are in great demand. So, more importance and focus is given to math
teachers.

Difficulty with math is labelled as dyscalculia. It can occur
along with dyslexia or in isolation. But the challenges in learning math are
not due to differently wired brains as in the case of dyslexia.

Quite often the difficulty in acquiring math skills may be
precipitated or aggravated by four major factors.

·
Inadequate time spent in establishing the basic
mathematical reasoning at the pre-primary level.

·
Unrealistic pace of the math syllabus which
does not give the child enough time to internalize, establish, apply and generalize the concepts learnt.

·
Disregard for readiness –It is important to
keep in mind the cognitive maturity of the child to understand the mathematical
concept.

·
Bad teaching- The teacher focuses more on the
product than on the process which means the marks scored is given more
importance than the child’s ability to do mathematical reasoning.

Dyscalculia does not merely mean lack of
comprehension of word problems. It is much deeper than that. A child with
dyscalculia struggles with very basic things like number concept, one to one
counting, place value, more/less, before, after, between etc. If these issues
are not addressed, it leads to secondary mathematical issues like difficulty
with mathematical operations, word problems, and higher order reasoning.

Broadly speaking, math teachers should
focus on developing and mastering pre number skills, math vocabulary (big, small,
more, less, ascending, descending, predecessor, successor, factors, multiples),
inter relationship of mathematical concepts (connection between addition and multiplication,
addition and subtraction, fractions-decimals –percentages etc) reversibility of
mathematical operations, writing a mathematical sentence before moving on to
abstract math concepts etc.

In conclusion, there is art in teaching maths.
The joy of learning should not be lost in the dysfunctional practices of
comparing, competing and criticizing. Math, it should be remembered is a life
skill. Therefore, it is our responsibility to keep the children motivated to
learn math.

## No comments:

## Post a Comment