Mathematics is something that is apart of all of our worlds and everyday lives, and something that us as human beings can understand from our earliest years. In lecture this week, many different and new ideas were introduced to me regarding mathematics in the classroom and how they should be taught when compared to how the majority of us were taught mathematics throughout our school careers, and opened my eyes to how important and evident math education is in our elementary classrooms.
When looking back at my own experiences with math education throughout my school years, I personally did not have the best experience, but definitely not the worst. Throughout elementary school I felt that I was quite strong in mathematics, and felt quite confident and actually enjoyed math to the point that I bought extra workbooks for myself to use at home around the age of eight and nine. As I approached middle school, this started to decline as topics started to become more complex an more help seemed to be needed. As I furthered into high school, this only became worse. As I entered grade nine, we spent about one month in math classes that were set up by the school, until the decided what level we all were on and went upon splitting us up based on how “gifted” we were or how much we seemed to struggle, placing me somewhere in the middle of both. Since I was not seen to be “gifted” in mathematics, I was placed with a math teacher that did not seen to care at all about how much we learned, in comparison with the first one I had, who evidently took over the “gifted” children.
When looking at this now, I definitely see where this could have been a benefit for the teachers, but it also looks like strong discrimination against those who didn’t excel in the area of mathematics. In all my other classes there were definitely other children that struggled and were not as strong as others, but a split up of students never was something that occurred. I wonder why now?
Something I have never enjoyed about mathematics in school, even in university, is the fact that it is all based on learning and regurgitating what we have heard from the professor, which as I have learned, teaches the students little to nothing. I personally find I struggle in these type of classes since learning is not truly occurring. Learning will occur when students are taught information and they precede to take that knowledge and apply it to their own work, much how we do here in Education.