Thursday, 24 July 2008

Enforced Discipline in Learning Maths - is it good?

Learning maths can be tiring and taxing at times.

In school, we are made to sit still facing the whiteboard or slides to learn numbers, mathematical expressions and numerous maths equations.

With that attention span will be shortened and focus lost in the midst.

What then?

The teacher will get angry with us for not paying any attention.
Is this typical of your maths learning journey also?

Day after day, we are bombarded by maths worksheets, maths lessons, and tutorials...
Is this type of learning proper?

This question is more so, especially when it is the enforced type like done in the army, or worst, the prison!.

There are however, merits as well as demerits in this enforced training style.

Merits of learning maths using enforced discipline:
  • Fast coverage of syllabus
  • All students learn at the same pace (or slight deviation)
  • Attention span are trained to be longer
  • Concentration enhanced, the list goes on..

Demerits of the enforced discipline learning:

  • Learn for the sake of learning
  • Forget after the exam or test
  • Learning not internalised
  • Low self-esteem
  • Guided thinking and no freedom to explore at own pace ....

From the above points, is learning maths through enforced discipline suitable?

You can guess that the answer is a case-by-case issue.

It depends on the character of the teaching, his teaching style, the attitude of the students, the confidence level of the maths learners, the complexity of the maths lesson, the amount of maths tutorials and homework, time frame, expectation level, etc.

It is a complicated issue of matching the style of the teaching staff to the students.

The teacher has to be aware of the demerits of strict discipline in "hijacking" the minds of the students and you, the students has to understand the learning situation of the classroom. It is therefore a give-and-take process of learning maths.

Education is not all about results as do maths education. It is sometimes the hidden soft skills, like tolerance, time management, ability to focus, and appreciation, that is all the more important, and learning maths is just a journey to building a person.

Let's not take maths learning lightly, but treat it with respect and enjoy the meaningful process.


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