We, as humans, are consumed by our past experiences and beliefs. They serve our ego, and they make living in a habit easier. It would take a lot of conscious effort to unlearn something and prepare to take a journey in untested waters. This is the reason that one finds it difficult to get rid of a long-lasting habit or belief and adjust to a new environment.
Keeping personal beliefs aside, one needs to adapt to the ever-changing environment to stay relevant and to move ahead, even if it means letting go of old beliefs and embracing new ones. The same holds true for our likes and dislikes, including subjects we never enjoyed at school.
Mathematics, as a subject, has always enjoyed a love-hate relationship among students. Even though its presence in the real world is ubiquitous, the love for it is not.
For some, the thrill of solving a complex problem and arriving at a solution is unparalleled. But for others, the interwoven formulae represent nothing but mundane, unrelatable entities.
Subjects like history, science, and English, to name a few, teach new facts, whereas Mathematics teaches new skills. Learning a new skill seems daunting to the human brain in the beginning, and it requires conscious, deliberate effort to master it.
So, how does a student nurture and/or rekindle their love for a subject like Mathematics? Let us get started.
Don’t Get Intimidated By The Larger Picture
Feeling inferior to an idea or a person is something that everyone goes through at some point in their lives. The basic reason to get intimidated is the lack of self-confidence.
In such a state, when a daunting task or an idea is presented to an individual, their ‘flight or fight response’ is activated. They end up being in a defensive state. In the case of students, everything seems ‘too much’ for them: be it the formulae, the constant practice, or the application to real-world problems.
The game-changer here is not to let the end goal scare you. Try and understand what appeals to you about the idea, and then break it down into its smaller components. These smaller components would be more achievable.
Leverage Crisp Learning Modules
Simplification of the concepts and the introduction of clear and concise modules facilitate a better understanding of complex ideas. Engaging visual narratives go a long way in helping students retain the information provided.
Propre9p’s Math video tutorials provide customized, easy-to-use, and detailed courses for university students. The 3.5k+ course modules on the platform have enjoyed more than 1.5 million views. Proprep has helped students develop a deeper understanding of study materials, enhance problem-solving skills, and get better grades.
Module-based learning has become a predominant method of instruction in the new era of online learning. With lesser attention spans among students at large, the smaller topic-based videos are achievable milestones. That, in turn, keeps the spirit of learning alive.
Understand The Anatomy Of Mathematics As A Skill
Just like any other acquired skill, mathematics needs to be learned, understood, and practiced. The first step in understanding what the skill actually represents is to know the basic processes that the skill defines.
This procedural knowledge helps an individual to understand how to apply the skill in a given context. Most of the students who find Mathematics difficult are essentially stuck at this superficial level.
Conceptual knowledge about the skill is a deeper understanding of its various facets. Once the essential process is known, understanding why it works becomes an important step. This knowledge helps an individual to ascertain when to use the skill in an efficient way. Deep conceptual knowledge in the context of mathematics can help an individual relate to its application in real-world problems better.
Applied knowledge is the most essential part, which reflects an individual’s actual understanding and expertise in the skill. Reaching this level in the field of mathematics should be a non-negotiable goal for anyone wanting to achieve mastery over this skill.
Know Where You Stand
For a student to reach where they want to be, they must acknowledge where they are. This is a crucial realization. Negligence here results in an inevitable cascading effect. For the sake of mathematics, this denial is bound to affect a student’s understanding of various other branches of study, including physics, statistics, chemistry, and more.
The Love-Hate Relationship of Students with Mathematics
Mathematics is a subject that has always had a love-hate relationship with students. Some students find it exhilarating to solve complex problems and arrive at a solution, while others find it mundane and unrelatable. This love-hate relationship is due to a lack of understanding and appreciation for the subject. Mathematics is ubiquitous in the real world, and it is important to recognize its importance and value. Students must learn to enjoy the process of solving problems and appreciate the logic and beauty of mathematical concepts.
Overcoming Intimidation and Lack of Self-Confidence in Mathematics
Many students feel intimidated and lack self-confidence when it comes to mathematics. This is often due to a lack of understanding of the subject and the fear of failure. To overcome this, students must take a step back and break down complex ideas into smaller, achievable components. They must recognize that mistakes and failures are a natural part of the learning process and that with practice and perseverance, they can improve their skills and understanding.
Understanding Mathematics as a Skill: Procedural, Conceptual, and Applied Knowledge
Mathematics is a skill that needs to be learned, understood, and practiced. Procedural knowledge involves understanding the basic processes that define the skill. Conceptual knowledge is a deeper understanding of the various facets of the skill and applied knowledge involves using the skill in real-world problems. To achieve mastery over mathematics, students must aim to reach the applied knowledge level. Understanding mathematics as a skill helps students relate to its application in real-world problems better.
To keep evolving with changing times while staying truthful to the values and beliefs is the need of the hour in today’s world of cut-throat competition. With the advancements in technology, data has become the heart of every new innovation.
Computational and analytical tools use mathematical computations and present a world of limitless possibilities. For a budding student gunning for glory in this entrepreneurial world, a strong hold over mathematics is non-negotiable.