In learning of maths, as with learning of other subjects, we need to understand our learning styles. The styles are namely, visual, auditory and kinesthetic.
Each of us has one particular dominant style. Knowing which one will thus serve us good. However, the learning style itself is still not enough, we need to also know the types of intelligence we possess.
The learning styles are used to gather information and ideas, through the senses, for the brain. But how do we process the information captured afterwards depends much on the intelligences that we also have.
In maths learning, what we need is the logical / mathematical intelligence.
This lets us do all sort of computations and comparisons that maths requires.
An example is the conversion of an expression in logarithmic form to its index form (and vice versa).
logaY = X <==> aX = Y
Though, this conversion seems simple enough, it is found that many students still have difficulties in converting the above. Do they lack this logical intelligence?
The answer is "maybe" and "maybe not".
They may have possess this logical intelligence, but has not yet enhanced it.
One way to offset this weakness in the logical comparison part of intelligence is to introduce the visual intelligence into maths learning.
What is this visual intelligence?
This is the "appearance" aspect of information processing. Here, colour, shapes, and the likes are linked up to the information.
Why introduce the visual intelligence?
The main reason is to bridge up the right and left brain, a theory that is now well-known and practiced throughout the learning and teaching communities.
Now, let's see how we can solve the logarithmic and index conversion through the use of the visual intelligence.
The examples above showed two very interesting ways to enhance the learning. :)
The first one is to replace and "beautify" the symbols with pictures or graphics to arouse retention ability.
The second one is to make use of colours to strengthen the symbols and their placements.
By seeing pictures and colours, although they are no way close to any maths topics, the learning of maths is greatly improved especially for the logical comparison portion.
Therefore, if possible, introduce as many "visuals" into maths as you can. They will make maths learning a totally new experience. Take care of intelligences and intelligences will take care of you.