Learn Mathematics or Speak in “Mathematician”

The senses, action and manipulation: necessary ways to learn and express themselves through maths learning centre singapore.

We agreed my mathematical peers and that an obligatory subjects starting Fundamentals of Mathematics I and II or Learning and Teaching of Mathematics of grade of primary education goes, necessarily, to know or at least for considering what are Mathematics.

They present several definitions in their notes. It is necessary to start at the beginning: the RAE and the MCED . The first says that it is a “deductive science that studies the properties of abstract entities, such as numbers, geometric figures or symbols, and their relationships.”

And on the second, we see that in Royal Decree 126/2014, of February 28, which establishes the basic curriculum of Primary Education , it is gathered that “Mathematics is a set of knowledge associated with numbers and forms , and they constitute a way to analyze different situations, they are identified with the deduction, the induction, the estimation, the approximation, the probability, the precision, the rigor, the security, etc. “

That is, science or knowledge. Definitely.

However, thinking of primary school children , it does not seem like a starting point to help us in the educational task.

In these ages, children have not yet developed the capacity for abstract reasoning (stage of the formal operations of Jean Piaget) , so to present Mathematics as a ready-made knowledge, already prepared can force the vast majority of children to gobble up a whole series of routines, strategies, procedures and algorithms detached from the meaning they are trying to express . To say it with some example, they will know how to do the “led” without understanding that one order overflows in the next ; or they will learn the multiplication tables but they will not understand that it is a matter of abbreviating a special type of sum; or they will learn the name of the fractions and their parts, they may even operate with them, but they will not understand that it may be a number that refers to the unit when it is presented under peculiar conditions, etc.

What then? What do we do so that learning Mathematics is an activity that helps children who do not have abstract thinking to develop precisely to achieve it?

Perhaps a perspective of Mathematics that can help us in this is what we propose in UCH-CEU MAGISTRY : Mathematics is a language especially suited to express reality or, better, that part of reality that can and should be quantified to get to know it more broadly and deeply. We must bear in mind that the acquisition of a language is a long process, always unfinished , that needs its use and that, until reaching minimum levels of formalization , goes through phases of incorrectness but necessary to achieve the desired objective.

From here, the teacher of Primary Education must take responsibility for designing experiences designed so that to be expressed , the math learner is faced with the need to use a language that is the most economical, precise, truthful and unambiguous, Mathematics.

This perspective, however, is neither new nor have we invented it. The test is what Galileo Galilei used to say a few years ago (this is also what my colleagues in the Fundamentals I program)