posted on Jun, 4 2009 @ 01:10 PM
To myself, Mathematics was difficult to grasp until I learned Euclidean Geometry. Working with Proofs and Theorems, rather than numbers, made me
understand mathematics on a whole different level. From there, it was purely a matter of understanding the notation (or symbols) inherent to
Mathematics and the rest was cake from there on out.
Every child has a different learning style. This is very much true. Some children learn better by being taught by rote, reciting long Mathematical
tables. Some children learn better by being taught conceptually. Some children learn better by being taught through practical application. Some
children learn better by being taught "tricks" (like how to leverage patterns in mathematics, for example, discovering if the difference between two
answers to a mathematical equation is due to a transposition error, or a failure to carry a number, by dividing the difference by 9...or understanding
that if the digits add up to 9 then they are divisible evenly by 9). This is why teachers must intimately understand these fields from many different
perspectives, to better help all of their students understand, rather than struggle with, the field they are charged to instruct.
However, using the argument of a learning curve to understand the notation or language used in a field is an empty one. Mathematics is no different in
this respect than Psychology with it's use of medical terms and it's frequent references to Greek Mythology, or Chemistry with atomic notation, or
History with it's dating mechanisms, or even Music with musical notation and scales, and Art with the color wheel and complimentary colors. Every
field has it's own terminology that must be intimately understood before one can gain understanding of the material presented in that field. You
cannot excuse poor Geography skills and the inability to point out where Africa is on a world map based on the argument that since they refer to
equatorial, longitude, latitude and different map styles which you cannot pronounce, along with something about degree scales, that the field of
Geography is too difficult to understand because it uses terminology and notation that is unfamiliar to you. It is the same with Mathematics!