Mathematics is derived from the Greek word “mathema” which means knowledge. It is the study of concepts such as algebra, mathematical analysis, number theory, and many more. Archimedes is known as the father of Mathematics because when he worked for the king, he developed interesting innovations for the king and his army and solved many mathematical problems for him. Mathematical knowledge plays an important role in the understanding of other subjects at school.
Griffiths (1994, pp. 156-157) noted that Maths and play are very useful partners. If we want children to become successful mathematicians, we need to demonstrate to them that maths is enjoyable and useful and that it can be a sociable and cooperative activity, as well as a quiet and individual one.
Mathematics is an essential life skill that must be developed early in one’s childhood. Teachers and parents must inculcate the love for numbers and shapes. Thus, this will give the child the confidence that they need to solve puzzles, riddles and find solutions to problems. Maths should be made fun and interactive.
All children can be successful with maths provided they are given the opportunities to understand it in a way that makes sense to them.
According to Man Keung in the article “Mathematics: What Has It to do with me?” “In fact, we are basically living in a world of mathematics. Mathematics is “present in our surroundings, affecting our daily lives directly or indirectly. Its past, present, or we can even predict, its future will always be fascinating and exciting” (p.91). This quote means that math is everywhere in people’s lives from the past until the future.
Maths is used in our everyday lives. We use it for our finances, to tell time, for baking (quantities and measurements), we use it for problem-solving skills and so much more.
How can you aspire to become a good and successful maths learner?
- Complete all your homework. Homework reinforces the concepts taught in class. Set up a daily routine.
- Don’t ever hesitate to ask questions for clarification. Analyse and understand where you went wrong and how to correct yourself.
- Make sure not to miss out on a class. New concepts are taught almost every other day and the one lesson builds onto the other.
- Build your confidence by asking questions and making sure you understand the concepts.
- Practise, practise and practise until you have the confidence and, believe in yourself. Practise makes perfect.
- Organise a study group/partner so that you have the opportunity to teach others and reflect on the questions that they pose. It will challenge you to solve and explore thus increasing your knowledge on a certain concept.
The study of Mathematics can be challenging, rewarding but also fun. It is both creative and logical. There are unlimited career opportunities for learners who major in Mathematics. Some of the careers that learners can qualify in are accountant, actuary, computer engineering, investment manager, the doctor just to name a few. There are countless opportunities.
“Learning gives creativity, creativity leads to thinking, thinking provides knowledge, and knowledge makes you great.”- Abdul Kalam
Author: Vasinthee Naidoo: