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Challenges in Mathematics Education

Challenges in Mathematics Education
Mrs. Swati Joglekar

Mrs. Swati Joglekar

The rapid changes of the education system and its impact on both teachers and students set many challenges that come across in daily life too. Mathematics, the science that deals in its pure and applied form is still considered as one of the most difficult core subject worldwide.

The teaching and learning of Mathematics, like any other subject requires both the teacher and learner to communicate effectively. Challenges is not only an important component of the learning process but also a vital skill for life.

The processes in solving Mathematics challenges (abstract or otherwise) involve certain types of reasoning which generalise to solving challenges encountered in everyday life. Challenges is defined as ‘Difficult Job’, sometimes needing great mental (or physical) effort in order to be done successfully. Incorporation of a Mathematical challenges in learning/teaching process involves both psychological and didactical considerations. Mathematics has always been given special attention from early days of student life, as Mathematics is applied in many other fields and disciplines. Moreover Mathematics achievement of a student has often been the focus and is experienced as a critical global issue.

Challenges faced by Students.

Many students have fear in subject Mathematics. They are unable to understand the basic concept of Mathematics and their technique due to various reasons. Mathematical task is a problem when it incorporates a challenges for learners.

It should (1) be motivating (2) Not include readily available procedures (3) Require an attempt (4) Have several approaches to solution.

Obviously these criteria are relative and subjective with respect to a person’s problem solving expertise in a particular field i.e. a task that is cognitively demanding for one person may be trivial (or vice versa) for another.

Mathematics difficulties can arise at nearly any stage of a student’s scholastic development. While little is known about the neurobiological or environmental causes of these problems, many experts attribute them to weaknesses in one or more of the skill types listed below (may not be exhative). These weakness can exist independently of one another or can occur in combination. All can impact to student's ability for Mathematical progress.

1. Computational weakness

Many students compute inconsistently despite a good understanding of Mathematical concept.

2. Difficulty transferring knowledge

Students may struggle when they are required to connect the abstract or conceptual aspect of Mathematics with reality.

3. Making Connections

Students may find difficulty in making meaningful connections within and across Mathematical experiences.

4. Incomplete understanding of Mathematical language

Especially word problems are difficult to understan

5. Attention difficulty

6. Visual and spatial difficulty

7. Difficulties which involves multiple tasks in a complex Mathematical problem.

8. Memory loss

Due to evaluation testing process; students feel lack of motivation in the subject and eventually enjoys it less and becomes alienated.

Teacher’s role in devolution of Challenging Mathematical tasks.

The first and foremost important thing in solving the student's Mathematical problem is the role of a teachers. Learning the needs of student and problems at the root and trying to help them understand Mathematical problems using simple language, models, examples etc.

Devoting more time for students as more students are likely to have many problems in Mathematics as compared to other subjects, is basic important role of a good teacher. Teacher besides normal classes required to spend more valuable time, also develop a good relation and interaction and most important to create stress free environment while teaching learning process is in action Teacher may relate Mathematical concepts with real life phenomenon which would be more appreciated by students. Subject matter knowledge of a teacher is also important aspect in Mathematics challenge. It Comprises own understanding and ability to approach challenging tasks.

Teachers pedagogical content knowledge includes how students соре with challenging Mathematics as well as knowledge of appropriate learning. Teachers Curricular content knowledge includes knowledge of different types of curricula and understanding different approaches to teaching challenging Mathematics. Sometimes finding mistake in solution of the problems would be challenging too. Teachers or parents set certain expectations on students which lead to fear and avoidance from Mathematics learning.

Teachers need to make sure that their students see the value of each mathematical task or activity assigned to them.

Success in education is a team work. This team consist of stakeholders, family, teachers and education system Motivation and psychological wellbeing play an important role in overcoming many problems in Mathematics teaching/learning.Adopting a learning approach that emphasizes the co-operation of teachers, students, peers and parents in Mathematics teaching/learning will facilitate the work of teachers and increases efficiency and success in Mathematics teaching.

The intensity of the achievements in the Mathematics program, their suitability for the developmental characteristics of the students, the highlighting of individual difference and the revaluation of the gain/time relationship and teachers receiving qualified, in service training suitable for changing programs can be expressed as an important requirement for effective learning process.

“The only way to learn Mathematics is to do Mathematics.”

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