HOW TO ENDEAR MATH?
It is stated that explaining the philosophy of the “math” properly played a major role in making math more admirable, which may become a nightmare for students throughout their education life. Experts stressed that new perspectives were necessary for math, which was identified by students as ‘abstract, disliked, boring, and difficult’.
Prof. Dr. Ünal Ufuktepe, Head of IUE Department of Mathematics, stated that math appeared in every aspect of life. He said, “Not everyone is capable of math but they can add or subtract. Math is everywhere. It is in our daily shopping, in a change you make in your house, even in the amount of the flour you put in a dish. But it scares people. The reason for that is the failure of not explaining the philosophy of the math.
Prof. Dr. Ufuktepe indicated that this year they offered ‘mathematical taught” course for students in social sciences programs at IUE. With this they aimed to change the negative image of math. Ufuktepe stated students had biased opinions about math and even university students could not answer the question of what ‘numbers’ meant. “Our students do not know the meaning of number, an abstract concept that corresponds to concrete things in life. This has not been taught to students. Numbers have started being used in math since the 20thcentury. These are niceties but are not taught to students. Mathematics is not a belief system. Mathematics always questions. These questioning systems need to be taught,” said Prof. Dr. Ufuktepe.
He stated that teachers needed to make students ask questions, and that the priority needed to be given to teaching the philosophy, history, and reasoning of math. Prof. Dr. Ufuktepe stated the following:
“Children start to hate math after a while because they do not learn to question. Mathematics is based on proving and verifying. If the teacher offers math as something that does not question, something as a belief system, then that child is lost. Another reason that kids don’t like math is the social biases. While families are pressuring the kids to study math they say that their math skills at school were poor also. Then the child believes math is something bad. Children imitate parents. Math takes a look at things in multi-directions. This should be taken into consideration in the action plan.”
Prof. Dr. Ufuktepe also stated that they would be co-organizing a workshop titled, “Philosophy of Mathematics and Life” on December 21 with Balçova Municipality focusing on math anxiety.