06. YLC Techniques To Enhance Mathematical Intelligence In Children

Techniques To Enhance Mathematical Intelligence In Children

It is common knowledge that learning mathematics can be quite challenging. Owing to their instinctive nature, primary school children face significantly greater hurdles than adults while learning a logical and quantitative subject like mathematics. Additionally, a significant number of children find mathematics dull and monotonous. Given the necessity for highly developed mathematical skills to succeed in a vast number of professions, alternative methods are required to make learning maths a truly fascinating experience.

A child below the age of seven is blessed with an innate curiosity to explore the world around it. Additionally, they have a remarkable ability to imbibe knowledge by engaging in activities that stimulate their creativity. While these qualities diminish greatly after the age of six, the propensity for play remains in children below the age of ten. Educators are trying to use these qualities in children to develop innovative methods that seek to not only boost the mathematical intelligence of primary school children but also develop a keen, life-long interest in mathematics.

A variety of methods are used in maths enrichment for primary school children . We will look at four of these methods in this article.

A Practical and Activity based approach to learning mathematics

Activities that stimulate the curiosity of children and provide an opportunity for their creativity to thrive are used in this mathematics teaching method. Children are encouraged to observe the environment and conduct mathematical experiments on natural phenomena. Instead of solving problems using a pen and paper, intelligent activities are used to find the solution to the question.

Individualised Instruction

The key principle of this educational approach is that each child has a unique set of gifts that require a variety of strategies to develop these gifts to their full potential. While each child is not instructed individually in all situations, this method allows children to learn at the pace that suits them the best.

Co-operative Learning

In complete contrast to the competitive style of teaching, this method encourages children to cooperate and help each other learn better. Students, who are strong in a certain mathematical skill, help the students, who are weak in that particular skill, improve their abilities. Owing to the positive environment created by encouraging children to co-operate, there is currently a significant level of interest among educators in the possible outcomes of this style of teaching mathematics.

The promise of enabling all children develop an exceptional mathematical intelligence is quite significant for these innovative approaches to mathematics education. A vast amount of research is being conducted into the success of these teaching methods.

Does mathematics promote human flourishing?

Before seeking the answer to the question, “does mathematics promote human flourishing?’ people should know what “human flourishing” means. Ancient Greeks called the concept of “human flourishing” as “eudaimonia” which means “a life that is full of all the best goods.” Experts like Su, who is a renowned mathematician and who was President of the Mathematical Association of America till recently, opine that human desires basically come under five categories called “play, beauty, truth, justice and love.” These experts go on to add that these desires can be met by pursuing mathematics. It is perhaps due to this reason math enrichment singapore programs have been put in place. 

The definition of human flourishing can be close to what Aristotle called as an “activity in accordance with virtue.” If a person has a playful mind or spirit or he is seeking truth, is putting up a fight for justice, pursuing beauty or showing his love for another person, it can be construed that he is engaging himself in activities that are congruent with certain specific virtues. To put this in the modern parlance, living up to one’s potential can be described as “human flourishing,” though this description imposes a lot of limits on the definition.

But you may ask how mathematics can promote human flourishing. Mathematics imparts the required skills in people for experiencing the activities, for enjoying doing them and living life to the fullest. Those who learn mathematics can easily develop logical skills that may go a long way not only in solving mathematical problems but in surmounting the troubles or issues they may face in their life. Conversely stated, those who use logical skills with their mathematical prowess can easily surmount the impediments they face in their life, can enjoy their activities and live their life to the fullest.

This can be extended to other activities of life as well. People may have various goals in their life. Some people may be aiming to reach the top in their organization, a few others may want to succeed in their business and yet a few others may want to travel the entire world. Regardless of what their goals are, every person may face issues or hurdles along the way. But if they decide to quit as soon as they come across the first hurdle, how can they achieve their goals?

Mathematics alone will impart logical thinking skills in people. They can use these skills for analyzing and finding out the probability of their success. Of course, there should make appropriate efforts. If there are more number of ways for achieving their goal, they can use the mathematical skills they have acquired and opt for the best way that can take them on the fast lane so they can reach their goal more quickly.

These are the reasons that may have probably prompted the authorities to set up math enrichment programs in Singapore. In short, it can assertively be said that mathematics promotes human flourishing.

Natures And Benefits Of The Authentic Assessments System

It is well known that a proper assessment of a child’s progress is very important when it comes to subjects like math. However, instead of passive test taking and other traditional methods authentic assessment focuses on testing the ability of a child to apply math in the real world context. These tests focus on the students analytical skills and if they are able to integrate what they learnt creatively. These are six ways authentic assessment in math can be used in math enrichment class Singapore.
1.Performance assessment
The children are given a problem as a group and told to demonstrate the solution. This helps the child learn how to work in a group; they use knowledge from every person in the group to solve the problem.
2.Short investigation
These are basic math problems that are given to the child to test how good their basic knowledge is. The student should be able to interpret the sum, calculate the answer, explain and describe their answer and also predict the solution. Typically these assessment problems help the child work independently and give them enough time to write the answer and then orally answer any of the questions asked.
3.Open resource questions
This exercise can be a quick session at the end of a lesson to assess whether the students have grasped what was taught. The teacher can ask the child for a brief written or oral answer, draw a diagram, or solve a mathematical problem. To make it fun the teacher can create a quiz setting.
4.Portfolio
This is a method that documents the students progress throughout the year either through journal writing, group reports, student’s notes and their rough drafts. This also helps the student themselves assess their work and make changes before they show it to the teacher.
5.Self-assessment
This is one of the methods that needs extra focus, the child themselves are almost always the best person to ask about what is difficult and what they need extra help with. Once the project is completed it is important that the child self analysis their work. Simple questions like what was the most difficult part of the project? Or what did you learn from the project can help self assessment.
6.Multiple choice questions
These questions can be developed to asses understanding of one particular topic as well as integrate many topics into one question that usually takes 3–4 minutes.