“I understand the solution when the teacher goes through it in class, but I’m hardly ever able to come up with it by myself!”
This is a common cry of many students, especially those at the upper secondary and tertiary level, where many mathematical problems require a two-part approach – a qualitative analysis of the concepts underlying the problem, followed by the use of computational techniques to arrive at the final solution. Some may excel in computation but are unable to arrive at that stage because of their inability to identify and formulate the required strategies.
We recognise that this difficulty stems not from the way the curriculum is designed, or, contrary to popular belief, the lack of ‘innate talent’ for Mathematics. Rather, it is the result of the way Mathematics is commonly taught locally. Students are often told, “practise makes perfect”. While this is largely true, many educators and students fail to see that repeated drilling of basic concepts do not make for a durable education in Mathematics. Simply knowing ‘how’ instead of ‘why’ can be seen as the main reason why students are unable to achieve their desired grades with consistency.
At Mulberry Education, we recognise that on top of on memorising and knowing basic facts, it is crucial for students to understand what those facts mean, why they’re important and how they relate to each other. With this recognition, we strive to help students develop procedural fluency in solving mathematical problems while building interest and confidence in the subject by:
- Facilitating intellectually stimulating interactions surrounding the subject rather than having them listen passively to a teacher talk about it at the front of a classroom.
- Strengthening their ability to communicate mathematically by formulating and converting thoughts into Mathematical statements.
- Showing them that every problem can be solved through a series of defined steps and tackling each step with targeted explanation and practice.
- Engaging them in productive struggles by providing higher-level questions on top of basic mastery questions to challenge their thinking and push the boundaries of their ability to think critically.