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“Open system” of teaching maths urged

Staff Reporter

Call for teaching applications of mathematics in non-curricular areas

— Photo: S.S. Kumar

Hailing mathematics:Former director-academics of CBSE G. Balasubramanian addresses teachers at a conference organised by HeyMath! in Chennai on Monday.

CHENNAI: “The future holds promise for knowledge synthesis, not simply for knowledge access and management. There will be demand for knowledge technologists and not merely for knowledge workers,” said G. Balasubramanian, former director-academics, Central Board of Secondary Education.

He was delivering the inaugural address at ‘Global Perspectives on Excellence in Maths Education', organised by e-learning provider for mathematics HeyMath! here on Monday.

Mr. Balasubramanian said that one must move from the “closed system” of teaching maths to the “open system.” “Text book is no more a resource, we need live resources to make classroom lively,” he said, adding that the applications of maths and its use in non-curricular areas should be taught.

Priscilla Krempl, retired principal and senior official from the Ministry of Education, Singapore, said if children miss the fundamentals, they lose interest in maths. Talking about what makes Singapore a high-performing country in Maths and Science, she said schools use technology right from kindergarten in teaching mathematics.

“Also, English, your mother tongue and maths – all three are given equal importance in the curriculum,” said Ms. Krempl.

Toni Beardon, Founder and Director, NRICH Project, Cambridge University and Hezki Arieli, Chairman, Israel Centre for Excellence through Education spoke in a video conference to the audience of teachers and educational consultants. According to Ms. Beardon, the characteristics of a mathematics teacher are: creating an effective mathematics environment, encouraging use of models, encouraging conversation, listening to students, giving assistance rather than answers, encouraging questioning and justifying reason for a problem.

J. Shanta Priya of Vivekalaya Matriculation School, Coimbatore; Uma N of Vidya Mandir and Durga Chandrasekar of PSBB, T. Nagar received the ‘Awards for Excellence' .

Besides, 23 teachers were given the Star Excellence Award for creative and prolific use of mathematics.

Nirmala Sankaran, co-founder, HeyMath!, thanked those who helped the organisation in its 10 year journey.

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