Sunday, March 29, 2020

Need of an hour - update the curriculum of Mathematics and club it with the Logical Reasoning according to the Grade

There seems to be general agreement that the number of students who fail to get a genuine grasp of Mathematics is much greater than it should be, there seems to be confusion about the sources of the difficulty. Some blame the situation primarily on the inadequacy of the teachers and the educators; others blame it on the inadequacy of the mathematics curriculum.

Consequently, no one is in a good position to tell those who teach mathematics what to teach or how to teach it. Most teachers appear to conduct their classes without benefit of any theory whatever their instructions is unimaginatively tied to the textbooks and their chief concern is to “cover the ground” regardless of how the students may respond to the material presented.

An encouraging aspect of the general picture recently came into existence were various groups of Educators and Teachers have become actually aware of the plight of Mathematics education and hence are taking positive actions and are looking towards a remedy. NCERT (National Council of Education Research and Training) has successfully announced that the revision of the entire curriculum along with the books will be done by 2023. This is needed so as to achieve a better understanding of how children acquire mathematical concepts. 

In spite of a large number of books and material published on mathematical education, little is provided and is implemented by the students and the teachers. It is important to shed light on the ways in which mathematics actually can be taught along with keeping in mind the discrimination between the fact and fancy ways.

Many students who are apparently capable of doing well in Mathematics course fail to do so. However, there is a paucity of the experimental evidence on the cause of the student dropout and on the origins within the learner of unnecessary failures or incompetence in Mathematics. 

Teachers particularly in the elementary school, have comparatively little training in Mathematics and many of them know very little about the subject which makes it very difficult to know till what extent this deficiency is reflected in the competence of the student and hence slowly starts losing the interest. 

There is a very big question mark on the reason for the dropout, unnecessary failure and incompetence in Mathematics of the student. To deal with this, the elementary and the secondary school curriculum along with the pedagogy necessarily needs to be updated which will later help us in dealing with the dropout and failures. 

The subject matter to be taught should be decided according to the grade placement of the topics and the readiness of the learner. It should be mandatory and hence should be in-built in the new curricula to have experimental classes as well, where the teacher should teach their students how to connect Mathematics with the Real-life problems/applications. 

Mathematics whether on the elementary or the secondary level should be taught in a way that instead of dropping out, our country aims at having as many Mathematicians as possible as no field is complete without Mathematics.

The new course of study for teachers, new teaching methods and new curricula should be such so as to cover the entire syllabus of the competitive exams (Logical Reasoning) along with the syllabus of each grade.  If this could successfully be implemented and executed, the decrease in dropouts can be achieved. 

The main reason for the dropout in the elementary and the secondary level is lack of interest in Mathematics as it was never made interesting by the teachers and educators for their students. Every teacher is always caught up in completing the syllabus and evaluating the answer sheets and every student is always busy in practising the same not by the choice but due to the pressure of scoring marks.

To conclude I would like to say
If our new curriculum is designed so as to club the competitive syllabus (Olympiads like IMO, RMO, NTSE, KVPY) in the form of Logical Reasoning along with the syllabus, it would not at all be difficult for the students to crack any exam whether it would be at the school level or any high-level competitive exam as students always lack in the reasoning section and if we prepare our students for the same right from the elementary level- it won’t be difficult neither for the student to CRACK IT nor for the teacher to TEACH IT!

- Divyanshi Mehrotra <>

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