I always enjoyed Maths at school, from learning to count in P1 right up to sitting my advanced higher last year. I always liked the continuity of maths, the knowing that those foundations of numbers that I had learnt all those years ago would still be relevant and essential when attempting the most complex of equations. I also liked the practical nature of maths, that I could follow a formulaic structure multiple times and prove to myself I had grasped the concept, where in some subjects, this opportunity is not available.
Therefore, I have always struggled to understand why Maths is so stigmatised in our Society, why some children develop a fear of maths. I think a lot of people believe that with maths, there is a right way and a wrong way, and that the fear of failure holds them back from even trying. Certainly, there is a myth that you are either strong at literacy or numeracy, but never both. This may be because people struggle to see the creative nature of Maths, but if their is no imagination or creativity, then how do we come up with ideas to solve Mathematical problems?
Not all questions are black and white, some may take an array of processes combined and some may require a new, innovative kind of process entirely. Creative Problem Solving has become a key concept which can be easily incorporated into Mathematics to inspire more engaging discussion and activeness. One of the surprising elements of learning Maths which was mentioned in the PowerPoint was Talking, though in a way it makes complete sense. Why wouldn’t children talk to their peers about their Maths; it’s an effective way to broaden their knowledge of techniques and also emphasises to them the many different approaches that can be taken to Maths.
In a way, approaching the way Maths is taught more discursively can simultaneously render a lot of the anxieties felt towards Maths redundant, anxieties like; having to be quick at working with numbers in your head or it not being acceptable to use your fingers for counting, as pupils will witness their friends practising these things in a safe and secure environment. The ultimate aim of Primary School Maths is to eradicate the insecurities felt about Maths, with the main way of achieving this in the classroom coming down to the surrounding atmosphere in regards to Maths. It’s essential then that Teachers attempt to push past an issues or grievances regarding Maths in the past and radiate a passion and confidence so that children have a positive attitude that they can ultimately emulate.