A former Dean of the Faculty of Science Education of the University of Education, Winneba, Prof. Samuel Kwasi Asiedu-Addo, has advised parents not to transfer their fear of Mathematics to their children through their words.
He said most parents who had difficulty with Mathematics while in school tend to describe the subject with negative words thus involuntarily instilling the fear of the subject into their children. According to him, parents should encourage their children through positive words and not tell them about their own challenges with the subject.
He said when parents did that, the children did not feel encouraged to do better in the subject “because after all, even daddy does not like Mathematics”.
Prof. Asiedu-Addo gave the advice at the opening ceremony of a two-day in service training workshop for junior high school Maths teachers from the Kwadaso Municipality. It was organised by the Department of Mathematics Education of the Akenten Appiah-Menka University of Skills Training and Entrepreneurial Development (AAMUSTED).
According to Prof. Asiedu-Addo, both teachers and parents had a role to play in encouraging children to like subjects that were perceived to be difficult. He said the way the subject was taught and the words they used to describe it also had an impact on how students perceived the subject and could go a long way to affect the students.
For instance, he said most Maths teachers came to the classroom with canes, which according to him, sent a negative signal to the students and “some use words like almighty quadratic equation” creating the impression that the topic was difficult. He said the use of such words should not be part of the vocabulary of the contemporary teacher. Prof. Asiedu-Addo encouraged the participants to make the teaching of Mathematics interesting and to relate it to things within the environment so as to ignite the interest of the students in the subject.
According to him, for students to like or dislike a subject was dependent on how it was taught adding that one way to make teaching of the subject interesting was for the teachers themselves to have a full grasp of the subject and love what they do.
Prof. Asiedu-Addo asked teachers not to make money the only motivation for teaching but to have a passion for the profession and derive their joy from that.
Earlier in his opening remarks, the Head of the Department of Mathematics Education of AAMUSTED, Dr. Ebenezer Bonyah, said the objective of the workshop was to expose the teachers to some modern strategies available to enhance Mathematics teaching and learning.
He said it would also provide the in-service training to build the capacity of Mathematics teachers in their content delivery strategies using modern technologies for teaching new basic school Mathematics.