Paths To Math: Engaging Students and Teachers
Mathematics helps us make sense of the world we live in. Numbers are as important as words for these likewise provide us with meaning. To relate and reason with these representations of our world, it is evident that we must first master basic operations. Cecilia Villabona, a math teacher and assistant principal in the US, was quoted in C.M. Rubin's Huffington Post article, "The Global Search for Education: Finnish Math Lessons":
"We believe that students need to develop self-confidence and trust in their ability to do math, and it is the solving of real-life, simpler problems that gives them the ability to engage in more difficult, abstract tasks. Only the procedural understanding acquired in this manner will empower students to solve the test problems."Looking back at my fifth grade experience, I could easily relate to Villabona's statement above. C.M. Rubin's article is actually an interview of two teachers, Cecilia Villabona (from the US) and Maarit Rossi (from Finland). These two teachers are the authors of a 3-4 year basic mathematics education program called "Paths to Math":
In my opinion there is no substitute for an educated skilled teacher. Experience is also important. No computer app, artificial intelligent computer aided instruction program, Internet site or worksheet will educate our students. Some of these will capture their interests and hold their attention for some time but never will replace the teacher.