Embassy Posted February 24, 2012 Share Posted February 24, 2012 On a previous thread it was mentioned that math cannot be taught out of order. I have been "experimenting" on my kids the past year and a half in our approach to math. My kids do fine with math, but it isn't something that they really love. As the years of teaching them have passed I am coming more and more to the conclusion that they learn some things better when it is approached out of order or even backwards. I still continue with a standard math program, but I reach way out and grab hold of topics and concepts that they will not encounter in their standard math program for quite some time. It is in these more difficult concepts where I find an enjoyment of math or a sparkle in the eye when it is otherwise dull. This past weekend I read a book that resonated with me - with the thoughts I have been having about how my kids learn. The book is called In the Mind's Eye and it is written by Thomas West. It is essentially about visual thinkers, gifted people with dyslexia, other learning difficulties, computer images, and the irony of creativity. He said this in his chapter on math: Mathematics is essentially sequential and cumulative. You cannot deal with concept or operation 29 until you have mastered operations 1 through 28. That this is the most reasonable way to teach mathematics, there can be little debate,...But what should we do with students for whom the easy things are hard and the hard things are easy - those who naturally jump to the end and skip over the beginning, those who jump to the world of intuitive images without having mastered the basic elementary steps?Perhaps, for these, one should consider teaching mathematics backwards, that is, teaching the images and patterns first and teaching the conventional symbol system, rules and rigorous process later.... Thoughts? Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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