What better ways are there lo learn mathematics as one goes higher in education?
We can learn a subject through many ways, but the technique suitable for anyone depends on their learning style. However, there are two specific ways to learning any subject, regardless of learning style. The first one is memory technique. This learning method deals with remembering details and facts and recalling them when needed. The second technique focuses on understanding the basic concepts of the principles and facts. It is the “how” and “why” versus the “what”. Both techniques have their own benefits and disbenefits. The method to use depends on the complexity of the subject matter and your educational level. However, in mathematics especially, combining both are necessary to attain the best possible results.
The amount of mathematical concept and facts to be learned for elementary mathematics level are limited and only acts as the basis for higher levels of mathematics learning. Memory method of learning may be manageable and acceptable at the basic level. But how can this method be maintained as one climbs the ladder of studying mathematics?
The learning taxonomy at higher levels of mathematics studying goes into the application level and further. Mastery of concepts becomes an essential factor in studying and solving complex mathematical problems. More detailed concepts are integrated into mathematical expressions and equations. Pure memory alone won’t be able to decipher the true meaning of these expressions and equations. Some other mathematical tools may be needed to solve mathematics problems. Pure memory method of learning mathematics has been rendered unacceptable by this combination of concepts and solving methods. The scope to cover all possible combinations of solving tools and questions is far too wide to manage. Staying firm with this fact remembering method will only cause the performance and outcome to dwindle low. This will reduce the motivation to study and may decline towards the fearful mathematics anxiety situation.
A unique language and symbol is used to portray mathematical meanings, which makes studying it different from other subjects. Variables and symbols are used to create conditions and relationships. These few variables and symbols are embedded with many in-depth concepts including mathematical operators. True mastery of concept is therefore needed to grasp these concepts. Still, memorising principles and facts isn’t totally useless at higher levels of mathematics study.
Its purpose is still needed, as they are the basic components that link up the brain with the conceptual approach and solving methods. It is through these links and bonds that we are able to strengthen and retain the acquired knowledge longer. This is true mastery of the concepts of the topics and the whole subject. To therefore attain a level of reasonable comprehension, one has to effectively combine both learning methods with more emphasis on mastery of concepts.
To conclude things, time causes principles to fade off. Some go for extra lessons to get an edge.
Therefore, memorising facts and principles won’t last long. The best and most effective learning technique is to focus on concept mastery and relationship. Linking facts has the benefit of knowledge lasting longer and turns out to be a useful problem-solving tool. It is better to understand the “why” and “how” when the “what” is being complemented. When the right technique of studying mathematics is applied – mastery of concept – the fear of learning advanced mathematics will then be reduced.
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