Anything to add??… Maybe just an idea: Math should also be taught in context!!…
If you get to know the motivations of a mathematical concept, say of Logarithms – the need of quickly multiplying two big numbers, and which Logs achieved by transforming multiplications into simple sums -, then you will surely understand and remember that Log (a x b) = Log(a) + Log(b) for ever!
Moreover, telling the story behind the formula, gives back to the subject the passion that is inherent to the mathematical creation and it serves as motivation and provides strength for the tough times. Since mathematics is tough and mathematicians have always struggled through it! That´s the truth! This fact should be seen, not as a disaster, but as part of its fascination. And mistakes must finally lose any negative connotation and be just regarded as what they are – not only as an inevitable part of the art of doing math – but furthermore, as the only way of doing math!!!
Wouldn´t it be interesting to – kind of – split math classes into a more historic-cultural part and a more technical-abstract one??…Wouldn´t all of we – teachers included – be more successful, better educated and even happier 🙂 ??…
Stephanie Schiemann, former math teacher and actually working in the networking office between schools and colleges – Netzwerkbüro Schule-Hochschule – of the German Mathematical Society, says: “We just need new offsprings, young people, with motivation for a teaching career. One could initiate a campagne on this issue, to get better high-school graduates interested. Right now, unfortunately, are most likely the weaker graduates the ones who become teachers, which is not a good perspective.
Schiemann cares especially about the role of parents: “Extremely harmful is also, when parents say to their kids “I also coudn´t do math!“. That is absolutely not a good model, one should give courage to the kids. If not they become scared of the subject”.
A “teaching career” – especially in mathematics – must seek to obtain the worldwide recognition and status it deserves. This may be achieved with the right political and cultural mind shift. Professional mathematicians should be a decisive part of the process.
The subject called “school-math” needs an immense transformation… To recognize this is the first step…
“No doubt there are some who, when confronted with a line of mathematical symbols, however simply presented, can only see the face of a stern parent or teacher who tried to force into them a non-comprehending parrot-like apparent competence–a duty and a duty alone–and no hint of magic or beauty of the subject might be allowed to come through.”― Roger Penrose,
“[Math] curriculum is obsessed with jargon and nomenclature seemingly for no other purpose than to provide teachers with something to test the students on.”― Paul Lockhart,