What better way to start the day?
The first step to popularising maths is to defeat the fear that was instilled in you since early school days by parents, teachers, and friends. Given how my class with a mix of Life Science, Computer Science, and Arts majors students who used to tremble at the beginning, was my prime target too – rid of the fear of the same! I’m unsure how far, but now I’m sure of success with 27/66 who got back to me!
It is not easy to achieve the same – you might have to depart from the traditional style of teaching, which makes both students and colleagues question you more than trusting the process in light of the bigger picture. An average student only expects a teacher who comes, lectures and goes – often limiting the student’s creativity to problem-solving in a particular way. But this class was surprisingly very open-minded about pedagogy, saving me time otherwise spent on convincing them!
We as a class created a venue for students to bring their thoughts. Each of our thoughts was celebrated and valued equally. That recognition of them or their close classmate triggered them to rethink their long-standing belief that maths is nothing but a nightmare during school days! We also personalised learning instead of lectures – something I once thought was impossible in a class of this size!
Well, I cannot claim that it was perfect either. It did have its shortfalls but I’m glad we made good progress towards core goals, and there are good statistics to support the claim!