Κυριακή, 20 Νοεμβρίου 2016

Putting the fun back in math

State education dept to train teachers in innovatiove methods such as abacus and number cards to alleviate fear and bring interest back in the subject

Students across the state needn’t dread mathematics classes anymore, as the state education department now intends to make the subject fun through the use of educational aids. Teachers across the state are soon going to receive training to improve the quality of methods used to teach students — this measure seems to have been taken considering that many students fare badly in the subject.

Nand Kumar, principal secretary, Maharashtra School Education and Sport Department, said, “We have prepared a list of 13 educational tools such as number cards, jodo blocks, monetary currency, abacus, matching sets, etc, that schools can adopt to make math interesting for students. Workshops for teachers of various districts will begin from next week.”

The aim is that these tools be made available to the students through public participation and Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) efforts to enable activity-based learning, Kumar added.

Raghunath Kumbhar, a math teacher at the Pimpri-Chinchwad Municipal Corporation (PCMC) Madhyamik Vidhyalaya, said, “Models definitely help with learning and make the process more fun for students. For instance, different blocks held in the hand help to teach the difference between various triangles.”

Vijay Sawant who teaches at the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) Model School in Katraj and is involved in making teaching aids, said, “We have been using audio visuals, pictures, blocks, stones and games to ensure students feel involved in the class. This has shown positive signs in the form of improved scores of students.” Kumbhar also recommended adopting poetic forms for learning formulae and group discussions.

Ashok Survase, a teacher at Pimpri Rajiv Gandhi Madhyamik Vidhyalaya, said, “It has been observed that visual learning speeds up the learning process in most children, rather than just listening to the instructor.”

Students, too, are hopeful about a new approach to an often-reviled subject.

Hemant Gade, who studies at a school in Pimpri-Chinchwad, said, “It is a difficult subject, especially when learning formulas by heart without any explanation. If audio visuals and other tools are used, they could make the classes less boring.”

Pranav Patil, a student in Katraj, said, “I’m afraid of math as the concepts are difficult to understand. If the concept is not clear, I am hesitant to even approach the subject.”

Education activist Matin Mujawar welcomed the move, saying, “Private schools have managed to hold sway in the country over the last few years as their management is more proactive at introducing new tools. Involving the corporate sector and the public will ensure sustainability of the measure, as the financial burden will not solely rest on the government. Students in government schools have suffered for long, as the teachers lack responsibility. Continuous monitoring after the training period will be crucial - the money spent by the government on training and workshops should yield results in the form of improvement in the subject.”

Suvarna Daga, a parent whose son studies in Class VI in St Andrews, Pimpri, said, “Many of my acquaintances’ children struggle with math, but abacus helps greatly. I definitely feel that educational aids can help students with difficult subjects.”

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