Learning Mathematics for Personal Understanding and Productions: A Viewpoint
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In this paper we reflect on what makes mathematics more meaningful and more easily understood and thus enabling the learner to apply it to everyday situations in his/her life world. We identify personal – in relation to ‘collective’ or ‘public’ – mathematising as one key component towards real understanding of mathematics. We observe that today’s mathematics learner is often typified by such orientations as approaching the subject with timidity and in a cookbook fashion, adopting a re‐productive rather than a productive mode, and showing lack of intrinsic interest in the subject. Debilitating effects of some of these characteristics in relation to learning mathematics for personal development, include learner’s failure to exploit the subject’s natural features for developing own mental orientations such as algorithmic, stochastic, reflective, and creative thinking so essential in coping with modern life environments. We propose that, for inspirational effects, learners should have closer contact with and appreciation for the activities and practices of the professional mathematician. The mathematics teacher could enhance the learner’s mathematical learning experience by orienting instructional designs in ways that make the learning processes and outcomes more personal to the learner.
Additional Citation InformationMtetwa D., Mudehwe L., and Munyira S. (2010) Learning Mathematics for Personal Understanding and Productions: A Viewpoint. Pythagorus. Association for Mathematical Education of South Africa, 72: 50-56
Association for Mathematics Education of South Africa (AMESA)