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Methods used in Teaching Mathematics Professionally Part-I

Mathematics is a major core body of knowledge in any course. As one third of a semester of any course is devoted to Mathematics i.e. 16.67% of the courses consist of study of Mathematics. One of the main objectives of Mathematical education is to find active methods in teaching Mathematics in order to face the new demands, to follow the rapid development of educational technology. We have to observe the decline of mathematical skills among students entering different institutions & an increasing amount of mathematics to be taught. The key objective of my blog is to suggest some active methods in teaching Mathematics to students for better understanding of the subject.

1) Formal lectures
2) Use of LCD, Projectors and OHP.
3) Individual learning.

1) Formal lectures: –
Even know a day formal lecture is main teaching method used. But Formal lectures alone are not that effective in teaching mathematics because of a number of reasons. Mathematical courses are built in such a way that if a student misses a key concept at the beginning of the lecture, the rest of the lecture can be lost for him or her. Besides, every student has his or her own pace of grasping or acquiring Mathematical knowledge. The pace of the lecture can be too slow for some students & too quick for others. This problem can be resolved if formal lectures are used along with other teaching methods like compulsory reading of recommended text books, group discussion or to sort out individual problems separately.

2) Use of LCD Projectors & OHP:-
For teaching Mathematics LCD’s & OHP are relevant, as they save lot of student’s time, which would otherwise be spent on copying formulae & theorems and some figures from the white board. Also they prevent un-avoidable mistakes during this process. No doubt by this method we can save lot of time. But sometime this method of teaching Mathematics may also create lack of interest or inactive participation in the lecture by some of the students. And some time it may restrict the flexibility of the lecturer. These problems can be avoided, by presenting only highlights of the lecture (key formulae) rather than a detailed presentation of the contents of the lectures.
3) Individual learning:-
Individual learning help the students a lot because, sometime the student may feel shy or shame to ask any problem in class during the lectures in spite of teacher’s continuous appeal. So, the best way is to encourage students to come with their problems to the lecturer’s office, whenever they are free. Because many times I have found that 5-10 minutes discussion can put students back on track for solving the problem. Another way of promoting this is to come to the classroom a bit earlier & not to be in a hurry to leave it. This encourages some students to approach to the lecture with their problems.
To be continued in next blog


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