Previously when starting the Discovering Mathematics module I wrote a blog post about my experience of mathematics and what my current feeling on it were. My aim for this module was to make me feel positive about maths again, and I have certainly finished it feeling this way.
The module fried my brain and made me confused beyond words sometimes, but it was also so interesting and enjoyable learning about mathematics in a completely different way than ever before. I have certainly gained knowledge and ideas that will help me when I am a teacher to give the children more to maths than just a textbook, but let them understand mathematics beyond what they may expect to learn at school. One thing that this module has taught me is that mathematics is absolutely everywhere!!! And children need to appreciate this, that maths isn’t just a subject we have to do at school, but is actually one of the most important things in everyone’s everyday lives.
Ma’s understanding of what it means to have a profound understanding of fundamental mathematics really rounds the module up as it highlights 4 clear properties that you need in order to achieve PUFM – connectedness, multiple perspectives, basic ideas and longitudinal coherence. Through constantly engaging with these four properties throughout the module I have realised that any mathematical concept somehow relates back to one of these in some way. It again highlights the importance of fundamental mathematics and how it is in our everyday lives.
It has been so interesting in this module to look at things that automatically you do not associate with mathematics, such as art, play, animals, data handling and demand planning. Through hands on experience and great discussion this module has opened up my eyes to many things I would never have thought about in great detail. Overall it was definitely a great decision choosing the Discovering Mathematics module because it has made me love mathematics again… which I didn’t think was possible 3 months ago.
Ma, L. (2010) Knowing and teaching elementary mathematics: Teachers’ understanding of fundamental mathematics in China and the United States. Anniversary Edition. New York: Routledge.