The Nature And Place Of Mathematics

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The Nature and Place of Mathematics and the Effects of Stereotyping in the classroom Part 1: The Nature and Place of Mathematics in the School Curriculum Mathematics is an abstract and diverse subject which is very reliant on understanding and prior knowledge. Dossey (1992) states ‘perceptions of the nature and role of mathematics held by our society have a major influence on the development of school mathematics curriculum, instruction, and research.’ However, the nature of mathematics is not fact, it cannot be defined as a unified statement, but its opinion is held differently by different people. Even mathematicians can have very different views of the nature of mathematics and the significant difference is rooted in different…show more content…
There is a current push for more progressive teaching which is moving forward from learning by rote and teaching to the test. This old style of teaching causes many pupils to disengage as they do not find it interesting and see it as irrelevant to their everyday lives. It is something that I have witnessed for myself in the classroom and experienced as a student. Learning a formula and then applying it to similar questions over and over again becomes a very monotonous process, even for those with a passion for the subject. This then becomes a negative perception of the nature of mathematics which can be passed on to other students. The newer progressive style of teaching focuses more on the understanding of mathematics which enables students to see more relevance. The actual contents of the maths may still seem irrelevant to the students’ and they may never use it again, however, learning maths is more about learning how to solve problems which enables them to develop a skill set which they can use to solve any problems that come their way. It is therefore important that the teacher is able to get this message across to the pupils. Mathematics has a role as one of the most important subjects learnt by pupils during secondary
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