Friday, September 24, 2010

Blog Entry 2 - My reflections in the first lesson

I was blown off my feet. Totally. For a long, long, time, I actually began to develop a love for Maths! Somehow, I had expected the lesson to be just as typical as other modules I had taken - but, NO! It was different, very different.

The first lesson was an eye-opener for me to be acquainted with the Mathematics world. My theoretical perspective of Mathematics prior to the class: It is just a subject that involves numbers, maths concepts; and Maths is just what it is. Teachers teach Maths to children so that they are equipped with the knowledge of the formulas and methodologies required to be able to do Mathematics well.

As mentioned by The Singapore Primary Curriculum Mathematics Curriculum Syllabus (2006), "Mathematics is an excellent vehicle for the development and improvement of a person's intellectual competence in logical reasoning, spatial visualisation, analysis and abstract thought." I had not given much thought to this until I reflected on the tasks that we worked on during class. For example, the Dice Trick: As a child (even ourselves as we worked on the task and attempt to identify the sequence/trends in the number patterns) works on such an activity to pick out the trends in the numbers, he or she does not quickly identify the solution, but instead go through a process of piecing together all possibilities in order to identity the best possible way and explanation for the activity.

Dr. Yeap has mentioned in class that children nowadays are less inquisitive, and I think that is exactly why teachers should facilitate their thinking process so that they develop an inquisitive nature! Children need to be facilitate so that they develop a set of critical thoughts behind the logic of how mathematics formulas work, and why. Mathematics formulas is not stationary: It can be twisted, changed, and understood with a set of well-facilitated experience in place for the children.

The first lesson has changed my perspective on the purpose of interacting with Mathematics - It is not to solve problems by strictly applying formulas; but to develop and enhance a child's cognitive competence so that he or she is equipped with awaken intellectual abilities to deal with the demands of the society.
"If people do not believe that mathematics is simple, it is only because they do not realize how complicated life is." ~John Louis von Neumann

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