Learning Math or Learning to do Math

I’ve always struggled to accept how some students study and kept telling them off for their ways. Yes, I am no PSC scholar or top academic to comment. But seeing all the batches of students that took H2 Mathematics being so fearful of doing Mathematics in Uni is less than encouraging. Makes me wonder if I fail as an educator at times.

Credits: Universal Press Syndicate

Credits: Universal Press Syndicate

Every year, I have a handful of students who like math and want to pursue Mathematics at higher levels, but as time progress, that passion withers. And thats because, they become so disheartened with A-levels. Of course, it is not entirely the education system. It is also the methods that the students employ that count. I know students who can do twenty over Mathematical Induction Questions but falters at the one that comes out in exams. This shows that they don’t understand and know their concepts well. This is an example of learning to do math.

What is learning Math, and how important is it?

Learning Math starts with understanding the definitions and concepts. We cannot jump into doing the questions head first. We need to sit on what we learnt and try to understand it. Every topic in A-levels is tested but we know topics can cross over and be tested together in one single question. As such, it is important for us to see H2 Mathematics as one single subject, or even a topic. We shouldn’t segregate too much. I can easily mix a APGP with a poisson question, and it is nothing wrong with it. It is still within boundaries of your examinations.

Here, I’m not trying to scare students off, but hoping they will start reconsidering their approach to studying mathematics. As I discussed here previously, I do think that H2 Mathematics is going for a harder route and many students will suffer.

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