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Methods used in Teaching Mathematics Professionally Part-II

Mathematics is a major core body of knowledge in any Course. One cannot expect Students to learn mathematics in the same manner as professional mathematicians usually do, yet the professional students must acquire, not only empirical but also, abstract understanding of mathematics. I feel that the Objective of teaching mathematics to Students is to find the exact balance between Practical application of mathematical equations & in-depth understanding. In this blog, I have discussed some practical way of achieving it, based on my experience of teaching mathematics in various institutions. This blog is in continuation of previous blog –I where 1-3 methods used in teaching Mathematics were discussed.

METHODS USED IN TEACHING MATHEMATICS:

1)      Formal lectures

2)      Use of LCD, Projectors, and OHP.

3)      Individual learning.

4)      Compulsory reading

5)      Invite students to solve the problem during the lecture.

6)      Consultation hours.

7)      Surprise test.

8)      Group Discussion.

4) Compulsory reading:-

The students should be recommended to read the textbooks & the most efficient way ahead is to link specific sections of the recommended book with a corresponding part of the lecture course. A part of lecture time can be spent on giving an overview of the book material & highlighting the most important concepts. I found that this approach towards students is well received by the majority of them.

5) Invite students to solve the problem during the lecture: –

It is sometimes useful to invite one of the students to the whiteboard to solve a particular problem. This turns into individual learning in front of the class. The class, however, almost never remains passive. As a result, a productive dialogue is established with the student of the class. By this way, we can also get immediate feedback from the students & this also keeps student alert & attentive in the class, since anybody can be called to the whiteboard for solving the problem.

6) Consultation hours: –

It is the time when I stood in front of the class & take the questions from them & solve for them which no-one could solve. By this way, their problems get solved & their doubts get cleared.

7)Surprise test: –

Lectures should always take a spot or should surprise test in class say 20 min test and rest 40 min should be used for evaluation of these test in front of the students by calling them one by one. By this way, the teacher can tell the students the mistakes made by them their itself, which prevents the students from making the same mistakes in the future. And these spot tests should be held without any prior warning. By this way, my aim is to encourage students to work consistently during the entire semester rather, than just before the exams. According to me, the aim of this surprise test is to explain in detail what was wrong done by them while solving the problem and how this can be removed.

8)Group discussion: –

Group discussion among the students should be encouraged. This helps them to raise the self-confidence in them and believe in team spirit. To be continued in the next blog

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