A STUDY OF RELEVANCE OF VEDIC MATHEMATICS IN ENHANCING THE SPEED AND ACCURACY OF THE STUDENTS IN MATHEMATICAL COMPUTATION AT MIDDLE LEVEL

ABSTRACT

Vedic Mathematics is the name given to the ancient system of Mathematics. It is a gift to the world and was formulated over many centuries by the ancient sages and rishis of India. Vedic Mathematics refers to a set of sixteen mathematical formulae or sutras and their corollaries or sub sutras derived from the Vedic system. This speaks for its coherence and simplicity in handling mathematical problems. The sutras not only develop our logical thinking and intelligence and also encourage innovativeness . A descriptive research was conducted to ascertain the significance of Vedic Mathematics in enhancing the speed and accuracy of the students in Mathematical computation at middle level. The sample consisted of two schools with sixty students each, one in which Vedic Mathematics is being taught and the other in which Vedic Mathematics is not taught. A teacher made test was provided to both the groups and the analysis depicts that the students who are taught Vedic Mathematics reflected higher speed and accuracy as compared to those who were taught through conventional method. The analysis of Open ended questionnaire which was administered on both the groups shows that the students who are taught through Vedic Mathematics enjoy Mathematics and they find it quite interesting and those who are taught through Conventional method too enjoy studying the Mental Mathematics whose roots lie in the realm of Vedic Mathematics.

Key words: Relevance, Vedic Mathematics

Khushboo jain

M.A.Maths

M.Ed (Gold Medalist)

N.E.T.(JRF)

INTRODUCTION
Mathematics reveals hidden patterns that help us to understand the world around us. Much more than arithmetic and geometry, Mathematics today is a diversified discipline, which deals with data, measurement and observations from science; with reference, deduction and proof, and with mathematical models, natural phenomena, human behaviour and social systems. As a practical matter, mathematics is a science of patterns and order. Its domain is not molecules or cells, but numbers, chance, form, algorithm and change. As a science of abstract object, mathematics relies on logic rather than on observation as its standard of truth, yet employs observation, simulations and even experimentation as means of discovering the truth. The result of mathematics theorems and theories are both significant and useful; the best results are also elegant and deep. In addition to theorems and theories, mathematics offers distinctive mode of thought which are both versatile and powerful, including mathematical modelling, abstraction, optimisation, logical analysis, inference from data and use of symbols. Due to diverse application of mathematics, the various mathematical tools are required which are interlinked with each other. It is the tall shape of mathematics. The Education Commission (1964-66) recommended Mathematics as a

compulsory subject for all school students up to class X. There is hardly any discipline of study without the numbers. Thus Mathematics enjoys unique status in a school curriculum. The National Policy of Education (NPE-1986) also emphasizes the Mathematics should be visualized as the vehicle to train a child to think, reason, analyze and articulate logically, apart from being a specific subject, it should be treated as concomitant to any subject involving analysis and reasoning. But it has been observed that many school students find difficulty with learning of Mathematics and fail in Mathematics. The plausible cause for the failure is that the teachers quite often pay

no attention to the basic concepts. The object is to develop the skills and methods of solving questions with cramped up formulae. The National Curriculum Framework for School Education-2000 (NCFSE-2000) reiterates the importance of Mathematics education as visualized in NPE-1986. According to NCFSE, one of the basic aims of teaching Mathematics in schools is to inculcate the skills of quantification of experiences around the learners who in turn carry-out experiments with numbers and forms of geometry; frame hypothesis and verify them; generalize develop the findings with proofs; and make precisions thinking, applying reasoning, Mathematics; precision, rational analytical

competence to solve problems, positive attitudes and aesthetic sense. There is a huge gap between prescription and practice of a Mathematical curriculum. Most of the time of the classrooms of Mathematics is preoccupied with routine teaching and not much time is devoted to learning of Mathematics. Teaching of Mathematics is an act of the teacher which comprises of various strategies which help the students in developing various computational skills and make the students competent in solving various problems in Mathematics. It has been observed that hardly any student asks questions in Mathematics classroom, implying that the learning rarely takes place in the classrooms. It also have been observed that the teacher education colleges in India prepare the Mathematical teachers at secondary and senior secondary level and unfortunately, some of the teacher education colleges don’t have teacher educators who studied Mathematics at school level. Many of the Mathematics teachers do not distinguish between teaching of Mathematics and teaching of say, History. One of the disturbing aspect of Mathematics education in India and also rest of the world is that of the lack of Mathematical sophistication in the education provided to non-Mathematicians. Most of the Mathematics taught to non-Mathematicians centres around the development of the previous century. Miyan (1991) in his report on the Fourth Survey of Research in Education made a concluding remark-“The quality of researches in Mathematics education in India leaves much to be desired… What is needed is a proper selection of problems, especially in the area of methods of teaching and measuring multidimensional outcomes among students as a result of teaching exercise.”

Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, the Founder of Transcendental Meditation, is quoted as having said: “Vedic Mathematics is that one field of knowledge which fulfils the purpose of education by developing the total creative genius of the individual, giving him/her the ability to be always spontaneously right and automatically precise so that his/her action, supported by Natural Law, is always effortlessly fulfilling.” Vedic maths comes from the Vedic tradition of India. The Vedas are the most ancient record of human experience and knowledge, passed down orally for generations and written down about 5,000 years ago. Medicine, architecture, astronomy and many other branches of knowledge, including maths, are dealt with in the texts. Perhaps it is not surprising that the country credited with introducing our current number system and the invention of perhaps the most important mathematical symbol, 0, may have more to offer in the field of mathematics. The remarkable system of Vedic maths was rediscovered from ancient Sanskrit texts early last century. These formulae describe the way the mind naturally works and are therefore a great help in directing the student to the appropriate method of solution. In the Vedic system 'difficult' problems or huge sums can often be solved immediately by the Vedic method. These striking and beautiful methods are just a part of a complete system of mathematics which is far more systematic than the modern 'system'. Vedic Mathematics manifests the coherent and unified structure of mathematics and the methods are complementary, direct and easy.

NEED AND RATIONALE OF THE STUDY
Vedic Mathematics being most natural way of working can be learnt and mastered with very little efforts and in a very short time. Vedic Mathematics system also provides us with a set of checking procedures for independent crosschecking of whatever we do. The element of choice and flexibility at each stage keeps the mind lively and alert and develops clarity of mind. The calculation strategies provided by Vedic Mathematics are creative and useful, and can be applied in a number of ways to calculation methods in various fields of Mathematics. The simplicity of Vedic Mathematics means that calculations can be carried out mentally (though the methods can be written down).

Interest in the Vedic system is growing in education where mathematics teachers are looking for something better and finding the Vedic system is the answer. Research is being carried out in many areas including the effects of learning Vedic Maths on children; developing new, powerful but easy applications of the Vedic Sutras in geometry, calculus, computing etc. The modern educationists are amazed to see the simplicity of theories and sutras for solving tough and complication mathematical problems. Vedic Mathematics is useful in preparing students for competitive examinations. It provides them with the “extra something” which helps them to be different. People argue, “Why should I learn Vedic Mathematics in this age of calculators?” It may help them to remember that many big digit calculations can be done much faster by Vedic methods than by calculators. Calculators also have a limit to the number of digits they can hold. Algebra, Geometry, Calculus and many other topics can not be done using a calculator. These qualities make Mathematics easy and enjoyable and flexible and their qualitative approach makes use of both parts of the brain. So versatile is the science that it has been incorporated in the educational syllabi of many countries worldwide. Even NASA scientists applied the principles in the area of artificial intelligence. In the Vedic system ‘difficult’ problems or huge sums can often be solved very quickly and calculations can be carried out mentally or involve one or steps. Its simplicity leads to more creative, interested and intelligent pupils. Through this research an attempt was made to compare the performance of the students who are studying Vedic Mathematics and the students who are not studying Vedic Mathematics so as to ascertain the relevance of Vedic Mathematics. This research provided a helpful insight with respect to the perception of teachers and students regarding Vedic Mathematics.

STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
The present research aimed at studying the relevance of Vedic Mathematics in enhancing the speed and accuracy of the students at middle school level.

OBJECTIVES OF THE PRESENT STUDY
The objectives of the present study were:

1. To find the speed of children who are and who are not taught Vedic Mathematics. 2. To find the accuracy of children who are and who are not taught Vedic Mathematics. 3. To compare the speed and accuracy of children who are and who are not taught Vedic Mathematics. 4. To study the perception of Mathematics teachers regarding the relevance of VM. 5. To study the perception of students regarding the relevance of VM.

OPERATIONAL DEFINITIONS OF THE KEY TERMS
The key terms have been operationally defined as under: Relevance: Relevance refers to the appropriateness of the concerned matter. Vedic Mathematics: Vedic Mathematics is the name given to the ancient system of Mathematics. It is a gift to the world and was formulated over many centuries by the ancient sages and rishis of India. Vedic Mathematics refers to a set of sixteen mathematical formulae or sutras and their corollaries or sub sutras derived from the Vedic system. This speaks for its coherence and simplicity in handling mathematical problems. The sutras not only develop our logical thinking and intelligence and also encourage innovativeness.

RESEARCH QUESTIONS
The various research questions of the present study were: a) How does VM affect the performance of the students in solving various Mathematical problems? b) How is VM perceived by the teachers? c) How is VM perceived by the students?

HYPOTHESIS OF THE STUDY

There exist no significant difference between performance of the students who are studying Vedic Mathematics and who are not studying Vedic Mathematics.

DELIMITATIONS OF THE STUDY
To define the scope of the problem under investigation and keeping in view the limitations of available time and resources, the present investigation was carried out with the following limitations: a) The study was delimited to two schools, i.e. one in which Vedic Mathematics is taught and the other in which Vedic Mathematics is not taught. b) The study was delimited to middle level only.

Research Design
Research design is the conceptual structure within which research would be conducted. The function of research design was to provide for the collection of relevant information with minimal expenditure of effort, time and money. The quality of research depends on a large extend on the appropriateness of a research design. The current study lies in the realm of Descriptive Research. Methodology The method employed to collect the data was survey method. Survey studies are conducted to collect detailed descriptions of existing phenomenon with the intent of employing data to justify current conditions and practices. Sample A sample is a small proportion of the population that is selected for observation and analysis. By observing the characteristics of the sample, one can make inferences about the population. The sample comprised of class VI students of two C.B.S.E. affiliated schools, of which Vedic Mathematics is being taught and one in which Vedic Mathematics is not taught. The technique used for the selection of the sample was purposive for selection of the zones and schools whereas random sampling, which is a chit method, was applied while selecting the sections in the schools. A sample of one hundred and twenty students and eight Mathematics teachers was taken. Out of which sixty students and

four teachers were from the school in which Vedic Mathematics is taught and equal sample were from the school in which Vedic Mathematics is not taught. The sample was selected using chit method.

DEVELOPMENT COLLECTION

AND

DESCRIPTION

OF

TOOLS

FOR

DATA

In order to gather data to answer the research questions, various methods and procedures were used. Each of these tools is appropriate for certain sources of data, yielding information of the kind and in the form that can be effectively used. The three main tools employed for collection of research data in the present study were self made achievement test, open ended questionnaire and a structured interview. Of the three tools Teacher made Achievement test which consisted of seventeen questions was administered on students, Open ended Questionnaire which consisted of fifteen questions was administered on students and structured interview, which was conducted on teachers, consisted of ten questions. COLLECTION OF DATA Data was collected in two phases: Phase 1: In this phase, permission was sought from the school authorities in order to administer the achievement test, questionnaire on students and to take the interview of the teachers. Phase 2: This was the data collection phase. The researcher went to the school on the stipulated dates as permitted by the school authorities. The achievement test, questionnaire and the interviews all were conducted on the single day as fixed by the school authorities. The responses of the interviews were recorded by preparing the notes simultaneously.

CONCLUSION
The data revealed that nearly 78% of the students who were taught Vedic Mathematics attempted all the questions and performed better than those who were not taught Vedic mathematics in terms of speed and accuracy. Nearly 80% of the teachers who were teaching Vedic Mathematics were in favour of including it as a part of regular curriculum. About 60% of the teachers who were not teaching Vedic Mathematics but teaching Mental Mathematics too favoured the teaching of short cuts which are a part of Vedic Mathematics. 72% of the students studying

Vedic Mathematics reflected that Vedic Mathematics helps them to do calculations mentally while nearly 60% of the students who are not studying Vedic Mathematics responded that they find mental calculations very difficult.

FINDINGS OF RESEARCH WORK
To achieve the above mentioned objectives various tools were prepared and were applied on the sample. After analyzing and interpreting the data obtained from these tools, the resulted finding are as follows:

 The performance of the students who are being taught Vedic Mathematics.  The speed of mental calculations of the students who are taught Vedic Mathematics is higher than those to whom Vedic Mathematics is not taught.  Students who are taught Vedic Mathematics are much accurate in their mental calculations as compared to those who are not taught Vedic Mathematics.  Teachers who are teaching Vedic Mathematics are satisfied with the Vedic Mathematics classes and the teachers who are not teaching Vedic Mathematics are satisfied with the Mental Mathematics project.  According to the teachers, Vedic Mathematics should be taught with core Mathematics.  Teachers teach various short-cuts, tricks and Vedic Mathematics to the students to enhance their mental calculations.  Teachers agreed that there should be separate period for examination for Vedic Mathematics.  Teacher felt the need for handbook and manual along with Vedic Mathematics text-book for their support.  No in-service training, workshops, seminars, etc. are organized for Vedic Mathematics projects. These should be organized so as to update the knowledge of the teachers.  “Tables” must be given due importance in core Mathematics as practice in tables is required for solving various Vedic Mathematics questions.

 Students who are not studying are very well satisfied with the Mental Mathematics project and the students who are studying Vedic Mathematics are well satisfied with the Vedic Mathematics classes.  Students who are studying Vedic Mathematics feel comfortable while solving Mental Mathematics questions mentally while the students who are not studying Vedic Mathematics found it a bit difficult task.  Students who are studying Vedic Mathematics like to study Vedic Mathematics in higher classes also and the students who are not studying Vedic Mathematics were interested in getting the classes for learning short cuts in doing Mathematical computations.  Students who are studying while Vedic Mathematics who like to participate studying in

Mathematical quizzes

the students

are not

Vedic

Mathematics did not like it as such.

EDUCATIONAL IMPLICATIONS
Based on the findings obtained through the analysis and interpretation of data collected, the present study yields the following educational implications: Implications for the students:  Students should devote more time in practicing Vedic Mathematics.  Students must relate the questions in Vedic Mathematics in their lives.  Students should initiate themselves to develop certain questions which they can solve mentally.  Students should play various games among themselves related to Vedic Mathematics so as to increase their speed and accuracy of mental calculations.  Students should regularly practice the short cuts taught in Vedic Mathematics or Mental Mathematics so as to get well versed with the sutras and enhance their quality of Mathematical computation in terms of speed and accuracy.  Students should be encouraged to learn more and more short cuts of Vedic Mathematics so that they did not have to join extra classes to crack various competitive exams like NTSE, etc. Implications for teachers:

Teacher should teach various tricks to deal with Vedic Mathematics/ Mental Mathematics questions in order to break the monotony of the discipline.

 Teacher should motivate and encourage the students to do simple calculations mentally.  Teacher should learn various tricks through Vedic Mathematics and other support books.  Teacher should give daily life examples in the class so that students can relate the questions with the actual life situation.  Teacher should use simple language while teaching Vedic Mathematics.  Conducive environment should be organised by the teacher so that effective teaching learning can take place.  Teacher should motivate the student to participate in Vedic Mathematics quizzes.  Teacher should use various techniques like computers etc. to teach Vedic Mathematics to attract the attention of the learners.

Implications for curriculum developers:  Separate periods should be there to teach Vedic Mathematics.  Various in-service programmes like seminars, workshops etc. should be organised with respect to Vedic Mathematics.  Handbooks and manuals should be provided to the teachers for Vedic Mathematics so that they can consult them as and when required.  Practice sessions should be organized to develop the skill of calculating mentally among the students.

References:
Books:

Andrew Nicholas (2001)"India's System of Vedic Mathematics".

Andrew Stewart-Brown (2000) "Recurring Decimals - Vedic Style", Mathematics Teaching No. 170, pages 28,9.

• •

Declan O'Reilly (1991)"I've got Rhythm: Algorithm", Mathematics in School. Hans Liebeck (2001)"A Short Cut in Long Division", The Mathematical Gazette, Vol 85, P 463-6.

J.N. Kapur (2000) THE TRUTH ABOUT SWAMIJI'S VEDIC MATHEMATICS Published by Mathematical Sciences Trust Society.138 pages.

Journals: • Andrew Nicholas(2000) "Vedic Maths - Introducing India's system of mental mathematics and its founder, Tirthaji" SEAL (International journal). • Blidi S. Stemn and Jill E. Collins (2001) "Do Numbers have Shapes? - Connecting Number Patterns and Shapes through the Vedic Matrix" Teaching Children Mathematics (US journal). • J H Pickles, , K R Williams (1982) “ Bharati Krsna Tirthaji's system of Vedic

Mathematics", Journal of the IMA • N. M. Kansara(2000)"Vedic Sources of 'Vedic Mathematics", Indian journal: Sambodhi, Vol. XXIII

Special thanks to MR. Gaurav Tekriwal, the founder President of Kolkata based Vedic Mathematics Forum, India for his extended help and precious guidance.

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