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Bring School Math/ Science Back to Real Life

Bring School Math/ Science Back to Real Life

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An essay for the 2012 Undergraduate Awards (International Programme) Competition by Hanting Por. Originally submitted for Secondary School Math and Science at McGill University, with lecturer Allison Gomsalves in the category of Teacher Education
An essay for the 2012 Undergraduate Awards (International Programme) Competition by Hanting Por. Originally submitted for Secondary School Math and Science at McGill University, with lecturer Allison Gomsalves in the category of Teacher Education

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Published by: Undergraduate Awards on Aug 31, 2012
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

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02/10/2014

 
Running head: BRINGING SCHOOL MATH/ SCIENCE BACK TO REAL LIFEUndergraduate Award Entry #1:Bringing School Science/ Mathematics Back to Real Life
 
BRINGING SCHOOL MATH/ SCIENCE BACK TO REAL LIFE
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AbstractLearning is for life and it does not stop when we leave the classrooms but reality paints adifferent picture. School math and science are deemed to be irrelevant in everyday lives by manystudents; hence, the many difficulties and the lukewarm enthusiasm in learning them. However,an understanding of math and science brings forth many benefits and therefore, it is importantthat we uncover the opposing forces and use carefully planned strategies to overcome them. It isinteresting to note how elementary school pedagogies focus heavily on the ways students learn.Educators in secondary schools should employ similar tactics and bring school math/ science back to real life. A student-centered model that addresses the different aspects of “real science”is suggested together with further means of expanding it. Nevertheless, there is no perfect one-size approach to making math/ science relevant to students. There are as much limitations to thismodel as there are other methods of making math/ science real to students.(163 words)
 
BRINGING SCHOOL MATH/ SCIENCE BACK TO REAL LIFE
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Learning is a lifelong journey, akin to one taken by an artist painting pictures after  pictures in his or her career. He (or she) never only draws in a studio; he (or she) does itwhenever and wherever. Likewise, learning does not stop outside the four walls of a classroom --math and science do not only belong in the schools. Their values exceed more than academic purposes only.A famous mathematician, Michael Lomonosov once explained why we learnmathematics: “Because it organises our minds.” This resonating message goes far beyondmathematics itself (Miriam Amit & Ilil Burde, 2006) and actually spills increasingly into thelives of humans as we crave for more order and clarity in today’s fast-paced and ever-changingsociety. It is therefore not surprising that mathematics is a subject endowed with greatimportance in many cultures around the world. In fact, some even consider mathematics and thesciences as a necessary tool in (Miriam Amit & Ilil Burde, 2006) developing a person (multi-level thinking skills) and thus, these subjects have become the “gatekeepers” for higher education in many places.Unfortunately, as important as we view both disciplines, many students appear to be lessenthusiastic and are mostly uninterested in learning them. Despite encountering both math andscience in our everyday lives, students, on the contrary, find them too complex to study and evenunrelated to real life. Some of the students are luckier and are able to do as well as our academicsystem requires; others are not so lucky. They may develop anxiety issues (Mark H. Ashcraft,2002) in some instances and end up losing or avoiding certain opportunities. Why are studentsturned off from learning math and the sciences in spite of their presence in our lives? How canwe reduce the disparity between school math/ science and “real” math/ science so that studentscan relate better to them? In retrospect, why do we even care if students are interested in learning

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