Thursday, May 4, 2017

Putting Creativity Into Math Learning

"Let's Put Creativity Back Into Math"

"Math has gotten a bad rap. I would go so far as to say that many students love to hate math. No other school subject has the power to elicit as much chagrin from students, parents, and teachers alike. Even math's old buddy English class now has a friendly name: English/language arts, which suggests creativity, spontaneity, and flexibility. Why has math become the outcast, even though it is a fundamental part of, well, everything?

Perhaps this is because in the history of the subject, there has often been little room for exploration. Many students think of math, with its rigid rules and formulaic equations, as a static process to find one correct answer in one specific way. They think of failing grades for wrong answers rather than the value of perseverance and learning through mistakes.

And if educators teach math in such rigid terms, it can indeed alienate creative thinkers. When I was in school, my math teacher worked out problems on the board while the class copied them. As a 10th grade algebra student, I figured out how to find an answer using steps other than the ones the teacher had taught us and proudly turned in the problem. I got a failing score for my correct answer. Because I deviated from the fixed process, I was wrong.

But this was creativity at its best in the classroom—the process of taking math out of its old dusty box and finding new ways to understand old formulas. When we are personally invested in what we are doing, motivation and engagement come naturally..."

Read the full article at its source:

1 comment:

  1. As a math teacher I often use a sign off that gets attention.
    Try these animations for fun.
    Sometimes the words get in the way!
    One is the pythagorean tehorem w/o words
    another is a triangle rearranged and a square is missing.