A senior mathematics lecturer at the University of Energy and Natural Resources in Sunyani, Mr. Eric Okyere, has urged mathematics teachers to develop practical methods in teaching to make the subject attractive to students.
Mr. Okyere, speaking on Accra-based Original FM’s morning show ‘Adwenekasa’ on Monday, March 15, 2021, to commemorate the National Mathematics Day said, both the teacher and learner factor are the two main areas to consider if “we needed to deal with this phobia. “
He says the factor that contributed to the phobia of mathematics was the learner factor, indicating that mathematics as a subject required constant and using of simplified methods of everyday life to practice.
The senior lecturer added that the pedagogy used in teaching mathematics was key in demystifying, arousing, and sustaining the interest of learners in grasping the concepts, methods, and techniques in solving mathematical problems. He said when basic mathematical concepts and skills were not taught well it became difficult to build on them, thereby making it difficult for learners to grasp complex ones which would lead to low self-confidence and total fear of the subject.
“Usage of such tricks and approach by students are perfectly fine as the ultimate aim is to get oneself versed with the concept. He said it was also essential that these concepts were linked to real-life experiences as teachers teach so that learners would appreciate the fact that it forms an integral part of their survival as humans, to eliminate the perceived fear associated with the subject,” he added.
According to him, “sometimes some topics were more understood when different methods or approaches were used and students might invent their own arithmetic symbols or pictures or their own concepts through which they understood the topic. We [teachers] must help demystify the subject, arouse and sustain the interest of both teachers and learners as well as create in-depth awareness of the importance of Mathematics for a better world”.
He expressed hope that the perception of the subject mathematics would change going forward.
“Everyone is a mathematician because we deploy the concept of mathematics in our daily activities. The orange and sachet water sellers make calculations every day and that’s mathematics. The more you practice, the more you know. The more you know, the confident you become and the fear is gone,” He added.
This year’s event, which was held virtually, was on the theme: “Mathematics for a Better World.”
The objective of celebrating the day is to raise awareness of the importance of mathematics in our everyday life.
By: Ernestina Afake | Originalfmonline.com | Ghana