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Module 1: Fundamentals of teaching of Mathematics

By: Mrs. Geeta S. Thakur

Unit 1 Place of Mathematics in the curriculum
Meaning and Nature of Mathematics
The word "mathematics" comes from the Greek word mthma, which means learning, study,
science, and additionally came to have the narrower and more technical meaning "mathematical
The ancient Hindu called it as Ganita meaning science of calculations
To a philosopher Mathematics is all types of deductive reasoning
The dictionary meaning of mathematics is that it is either the science of number, structure (sets
of numbers, functions) and space (geometry) or the science of measurement, quantity
(numbers- natural, whole, integers, rational, real etc.) and magnitude. It is systematized,
organized and exact branch of science.
It deals with quantitative facts, relationships as well as with problems involving space and form.
It is a logical study of shape, arrangement and quantity.
According to Locke, Mathematics is a way to settle in mind a habit of reasoning
According to Websters New World Dictionary (1973), Mathematics is the science dealing
with quantities, forms etc and their relationships by the use of numbers and symbols.
According to Goods Dictionary of Education (1984), Mathematics is the science of
measurement, quantity and magnitude.
According to Chambers Twentieth Century Dictionary (1987), Mathematics is the science of
Magnitude and number and of all their relations.
According to Bhargawas Standard Illustrated Dictionary (1990), Mathematics is the
science of space and number.
According to NPE 1986 (modified in 1992), Mathematics should be visualized as a vehicle to
train a child to think, reason, analyse and to articulate logically. Apart from being a specific subject,
it should be treated as a concomitant to any subject involving analysis and reasoning.
Analysis of Definition
science of number,
structure (sets of numbers, functions)
space (geometry)
quantity (numbers- natural, whole, integers, rational, real etc.)
It is systematized, organized and exact branch of science.
Characteristics of Mathematics
1. Mathematics is an abstract science.
2. It is a tool for dealing with abstract concept of any kind
3. Science of number and space
4. It deals with quantitative facts and relationships.
5. It deals with problems involving space and form.
6. It establishes various relationships between phenomenons in space.
7. It has its own language signs, symbols, terms & operation and hence can handle ideas with
precision and conciseness that is unknown to any other language.
8. It helps to give exact interpretation to his ideas and conclusions.
9. It explains that science is a by-product of our empirical knowledge.
10. It involves mans high cognitive powers.
11. It has its own tools like intuition, logical reasoning, analysis, construction, generalities and
12. It is a science of logical reasoning.
13. It helps in drawing conclusion & interpreting various ideas & themes
14. It helps in solving the problem of our life
Mathematics is not only number work or computation, but is more about forming generalizations,
seeing relationships and developing logical thinking and reasoning.
Nature of Mathematics
Science of Logical Reasoning
Logic is an important factor in mathematics
According to Russel and Whitehead mathematics is logic
Mathematics has few premises on which we base our reasoning.
It governs the pattern of deductive proof through which mathematics is developed.
All proposition which mathematicians enunciate can be deduced one from the other by the rules
of formal logic.
Proceeds from simple to complex, concrete to abstract
Dependence on earlier knowledge is particularly great
Arithmetic Algebra Calculus Dynamics
Graduation and sequence observed among topics in any branch of mathematics
Helps to prove results in geometry
Types of proofs
Direct proof: it proceeds from propositions already accepted
Indirect proof: if p is to be proved, assume not p is true and hence derive a contradiction. Like 2
is irrational
Proof using contra-positive: If two lines cut by a transversal are not parallel, then the interior
alternate angles are not equal
Disproof by counter: simply exhibit a counter example. E.g. the sum of two odd numbers is odd.
Induction or Inductive reasoning
Outcomes of observations of mathematical phenomenon, relationships and experiences is
Principle: if a relationship holds good for some particular cases, it holds good for any similar
case and hence the relationship can be generalized. Process is called inductive reasoning.
Many mathematical rules, formulae, definitions can be generalized through inductive reasoning.
Number of Examples
Deduction or Deductive reasoning
Mathematics is a system of logical processes whereby conclusions are deduced from certain
fundamental assumptions and definitions that have been accepted or proved to be true.
The student draws inferences from the premises
Example: When two lines intersect, vertically opposite are equal
Essentials of Deductive systems
Undefined terms: terms which defy definitions e.g. point, straight line
Definitions: some technical terms, definitions have to be framed e.g. definition of an angle,
triangle, tangent
Postulates: First principles which are taken for granted and have no self evident truth. General
truth, common to all studies .
Example: A straight line may be drawn from any point to any other point
Two straight lines cannot intersect at more than one point.
Axioms: An axiom is a premise or starting point of reasoning. As classically conceived, an
axiom is a premise so evident as to be accepted as true without controversy.
Axioms: truth related to special study at hand and initial assumptions.
Example: if a > b, b > c then a > c
Things equal to the same thing are equal to one another
Difference between an Axiom and Postulate
An axiom is in some sense thought to be strongly self-evident.
A "postulate," on the other hand, is simply postulated, e.g. "let" this be true. There need not
even be a claim to truth, just the notion that we are going to do it this way and see what
Language and symbolism
Mathematics has its own language and symbols.
Language for communicating ideas is largely in terms of symbols and words which everybody
cannot understand.
Mathematical talks consists of making use of mathematics symbolism.
Acquiring the language is essential for children.
Long period of training and endurance.
Makes mathematical language more elegant and precise than any other language.
Example: commutative law of addition and multiplication: the addition and multiplication of two real
numbers is independent of the order in which they are combined
a+b=b+a and axb=bxa
All mathematical statements, relations and operation mathematical symbols.
Any one, who wants to read and communicate effectively in mathematical language, has to be well
versed in the mathematical symbols and their definite uses.
Mathematics is a science of Discovery
E.E. Biggs, 1963: Mathematics is the discovery of relationships and expression of those
relationships in symbolic form- in other words, in numbers, in letters, by diagrams or by graphs
A. N. Whitehead: Every child should experience the joy of discovery.
Mathematics gives an easy and early opportunity to make independent discoveries.
Children should get opportunities for making discoveries as well as practice to achieve accuracy.
Discovery technique is making spectacular progress.
Application in pure mathematical relationships and everyday problems
Mathematics as an Abstract science
Mathematical concepts are abstract they cannot be seen or felt in the physical world.
E.g. Euclids lines are supposed to have no width, his points no sides no such object found
Infinity is never experienced; yet it is the central concept of mathematics
Negative numbers do not correspond any physical objects because we cannot have quantities
less than nothing
Mathematics as an Abstract science
All mathematical concepts cannot be learned through experiences with concrete objects. Some
can be learned only through their definitions and may not have concrete counterparts to be
abstracted from.
Most of the mathematical concepts are without concretization; hence abstract
E.g. Concept of prime numbers, probability, function, limits, continuous function.
Even when concretized; just the representation of concepts and not physical objects themselves
Intuition involves concretization of idea not yet stated in the form of operations or example.
Anticipate what will happen next and what to do about it.
Development of intuition
Applicability of the process rather than the importance of right answers all the time.
Science of precision & accuracy
Mathematics of known as an exact science because of its precision.
It is perhaps the only subject which can claim certainty of results.
In mathematics the results are either right or wrong, accepted or rejected.
There is no midway possible between right and wrong.
Mathematics can decide whether or not its conclusions are right.
Even when there is new emphasis on approximation, mathematical results can have any degree
of accuracy required.
It is the teachers job to help the students taking decision.
Deals with Generalization & classification
Mathematics provides ample exercises in combining various results under one head, in making
schematic arrangements and classification
When the pupils evolves his own definitions, concepts and theorems, he is making generalization
The generalization and classification of mathematics is very simple and obvious in comparison
with those of other domains of thought and activity.
However the mathematics teacher should take care to see that the final generalization into a rule
should always be deferred until it is almost spontaneously suggested by the pupil themselves
Mathematical Statements are unambiguous
All these objects, concepts, statements have clear and precise meaning.
There is no space for vagueness.
Sphere deals with roundness and the sense of roundness of a sphere is different from the sense
of roundness in circle.
We know very well that we will not give a bangle as an example of sphere and a ball as an
example of circle.
In mathematics all statements, be a definition or a sentence stating a result, are unambiguous
Mathematics is a human Endeavour.
Humans have formally constructed the abstract world of mathematics resolving ambiguity at
every point by carefully choosing axioms, constructing definitions of mathematical objects that
define concepts, formulating statements that tell us about interrelations and interconnections
between different mathematical objects and mathematical statements.
We can always tell about mathematical statements whether they are true or false.
This gives power to mathematical knowledge as it does not rest on individual opinions.
Mathematics is Consistent
In mathematics, truth is a matter of consistency which is seen through use of logic.
E.g. sum of two odd numbers is an even number
Truth of a statement in mathematics depends on the accepted truths and is accepted on the
basis of logic.
Reference books- Teaching of Mathematics- S. K. Mangal, Anice James, Sonia Bhasin
Objectives of teaching Mathematics
Objectives are definite, functional and workable units. They are short-term, immediate goals and
purposes that may be achieved within the specified classroom situation. Objectives help in the
ultimate realization of Aims of teaching mathematics (aims are ideals, need long term
planning, realization is not an easy task)
The National Curriculum Framework (NCF 2005) is one of four National Curriculum
Frameworks published in 1975, 1988, 2000 and 2005 by the National Council of Educational
Research and Training NCERT in India. The document provides the framework for making
syllabii, textbooks and teaching practices within the school education programmes in India.The
approach and recommendations of NCF-2005 are for the entire educational system.
Objectives of teaching mathematics at Secondary Level
To create a taste for mathematics so that learning mathematics becomes enjoyable and hence
can be used and enjoyed lifelong.
To develop an understanding of using various mathematical techniques for solving problems
To make mathematics a part of childrens life experiences. Something to talk about, to
communicate, to discuss among themselves, to work together on.
To develop the skill of problem solving. Not only solving meaningful problems but to make
interesting problems too. Ability of use in ones life.
To treat a child like a mathematician and allow him to construct his own knowledge.
To develop logical thinking among children by inculcating habit of thought and communication in
To help the children to understand the basic structure of mathematics. Algebra, Geometry,
Arithmetic offers a methodology of abstraction, structuration and generalization.
It will help in appreciating the scope and power of mathematics thereby refining our instincts.
To help the teachers to engage the children in classroom activities. Adequately challenging the
talented as well as participation of other students. Offer teachers the means and resources to
organize learning experiences.
Objectives of teaching mathematics at Higher Secondary Level
To provide students with an appreciation of the wide variety of the application of Mathematics,
and equip them with the basic tools that enable such application.
To develop ability in students to decide which mathematical tools are appropriate in which
context and to apply them accordingly.
To nurture a confident attitude of problem solving
To develop the childs capability for reasoning, logical and analytical thinking.
To help the children to construct new knowledge from experience & prior knowledge using
conceptual element. In order to make students active learners.
The teaching of mathematics; Kulbir Singh Sidhu

Values in Mathematics
Knowledge of educational values helps the teacher to avoid aimlessness in teaching. Value is
the springboard of aim and vice versa. We aim at teaching mathematics because we know its values
or when we teach mathematics in the light of its aims, we shall realize its values. Aimless teaching
will realize no values.
Mathematics holds an important place in schools. It helps in the all round development of the
child. Therefore the Kothari commission (1964-66) suggested that Science and mathematics
should be taught on a compulsory basis to all pupils as a part of general education during first 10
years of schooling.
There are three main considerations for which a child is sent to school. Therefore education
must contribute towards the acquirement of these values:
1) Knowledge and skills for practical and utilitarian value
2) Intellectual habits and power for disciplinary value and
3) Training in desirable attitude and ideals (principles) for cultural value.
Therefore the study of mathematics is essential for realizing these goals. Apart from these
values mathematics also possesses a number of other educational values which are all discussed
below along with the above three mentioned:
1 Practical Value:
The knowledge of the fundamental processes of mathematics and the skills to use them are
the preliminary requirements in daily life situation. This knowledge and skills can be provided in an
effective and systematic manner only by teaching mathematics in schools. Mathematics is essential
in various professions like business, trade, banking, finance, planning, engineering, architecture,
carpentry, taxation, insurance, tailoring, budgeting etc. It has become the basis of the worlds entire
business and commercial system. It is helpful in the study of various useful sciences. Ignorance of
mathematics in the masses is a formidable obstacle in the way of a countrys progress. Napoleon
remarked that, The progress and improvement of Mathematics is linked to the prosperity of the
state. The numbers impart system to our life and in many types of practical difficulties; number or
measurements come to our help and solve the difficulties for us. Bacon remarked that
Mathematics is the gate way and key of all the sciences.
2 Disciplinary Value:
According to Locke, Mathematics is a way to settle in the mind the habit of reasoning. It
trains or disciplines the mind. It is exact, true and to the point knowledge and therefore creates a
discipline in the mind. It imbibes many virtues and good habits like concentration, hardworking,
punctuality, regularity, neatness, cleanliness, orderliness. Regular drill work and practice. It
develops reasoning and thinking powers more and demands less from memory e.g. geometrical
theorems. It helps the students to realize that thinking makes him a successful student of all the
subjects.Mind becomes more disciplined helps to lead a well disciplined life
3 Cultural Value:
The understanding of the world in which the man lives, of the civilization to which he belongs
and of the culture to which he is very proud, requires the understanding of the development of
scientific and social principles which in turn depends upon mathematical principles. It is said that
Mathematics is the mirror of civilization. It has played a major role in the development and
prosperity of man. Occupations such as agriculture, engineering, medicine, industry, navigation,
modes of transport build up culture and they are its backbone. Mathematics has largely contributed
to the advancement of these occupations. Mathematics is a pivot for cultural arts, such as music,
sculpture, poetry and painting and proved the success of the Greeks, the greatest geometers in fine
4 Social Value:
Mathematics plays an important role in the organization and maintenance of our social
structure. Society is a phenomenon of balancing and counter-balancing of various social forces and
mathematics helps in creating a social order in this phenomenon. In order to organize, systematize
and also regularize our changing society, we need mathematics. The progress of the society is
directly proportional to the weight-age given to mathematics. For smooth transactions, exchange,
business, law and order mathematics becomes a useful tool. It helps in the formation of social norms
and their implementation. The ideas like manpower planning have originated partly due to the
influence of mathematics. The statistical data and the census provide bases for short-term and long
range planning for the welfare of the society.
5 Moral Value:
The study of mathematics helps in moral development and character formation. It is a way to
settle in mind, a habit of reasoning. It helps in developing proper moral attitudes as there is no place
for prejudiced feeling, biased outlook, doubts and half truths, unreasonableness, irrationality
(illogical) in the learning of the subject. The inculcation of the qualities like honesty, truthfulness,
punctuality, belief in systematic organization and arrangement is done indirectly through the
teaching of mathematics. The Greek philosopher has rightly remarked that gossip, flattery, slander
(insult, malign), deceit (cheat) all speak for a slovenly (careless, unkempt) mind that has not been
trained by mathematics.
6 Aesthetic Value:
Mathematics is wrongly considered as inartistic and non-aesthetic.but in true sense it is all
beauty, symmetry, balance, harmony, fineness art and music. There is great pleasure, satisfaction
and in successfully solving a mathematical problem. What we enjoy and appreciate in various forms
of arts bears a semblance of mathematics. Leibnitz has rightly said Music is a hidden exercise in
Arithmetic of a mind unconscious of dealing with numbers. It provides entertainment through its
own riddles, games and puzzles.
7 Intellectual Value:
The study of mathematics helps in the development of many intellectual traits like power of
thinking and reasoning, induction, analysis, synthesis, originality, discovery etc. Every
mathematical problem poses an intellectual challenge and is a unique mental exercise. The subject
is taught for the development of power rather than knowledge.
8 International Value:
Mathematics is a universal subject and it helps in creating international understanding. Its
history presents a very good picture of the overall development of our civilization. Mathematical
knowledge it the fruit of the combined efforts of all human beings belonging to various religions,
races and is a common heritage of mankind. It is an intellectual bond between various nations and
countries of the world. It not only gives the knowledge about the nation and its background but also
gives a message of nationality. An invention once crosses the boundaries of its nation reaches its
international value. This is the reason of progress in the field of science and mathematics all over the
9 Value related to scientific attitude:
The knowledge of mathematics trains the children in attempting the problems according to a
definite and distinct procedure which may be called as the scientific method. Scientific attitude
involves openness, critical observation, balanced judgement, free from superstition and false belief
Apart from these major and fundamental values it also inculcates:
Development of Concentration
Art of Economical Living
Power of expression
Attitude of Discovery
Understanding of Popular Literature
Quality of hard work

Sanskrit word Veda refers Knowledge
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.
These texts were discovered by western historians about 100 years ago and were amazed at the
depth of knowledge these texts contain.
Sri Bharati Krsna Tirthaji (1884-1960) rediscovered or reconstructed the ancient system of
Mathematics from the Vedas between 1911 and 1918 and called it Vedic Mathematics. Vedic
math is a part of our Vedic tradition.
According to his research all of mathematics is based on sixteen Sutras or word-formulae.
He had reconstructed 16 mathematical sutras from Atharva Veda on the basis of intuitive
revelations from materials scattered here and there in the Atharva Veda.
There are about 13 subsutras
Characteristic features of Vedic Mathematics
1. The most striking feature of the Vedic system is its coherence.
The whole system is beautifully interrelated and unified.
Easily understood, the general multiplication method, for example, is easily reversed to allow
one-line divisions and the simple squaring method can be reversed to give one-line square
It shows interconnectedness between Arithmetic and Algebra
2. Mathematics is a very flexible system and should be taught as such. There may be just one
correct answer to a mathematical question but there are many ways at arriving at that answer.
In other words, pupils can invent their own methods; they are not limited to the one 'correct'
3. Mental mathematics; improves memory: Vedic Mathematics is very simple that calculations
can be carried out mentally (though the methods can also be written down). Mental mathematics
becomes easy and helps in improving memory.
4. Promotes creativity: once the system of mental mathematics is developed we learn to work
closely with numbers and become more creative and understand the numbers better. This leads
to more creative, interested and intelligent pupils.
5. Appeals to everyone: Because of its flexibility and creativity appeals all ages and children with
different abilities.
6. Increases mental agility: sharpens the mental faculties during mental calculations.
7. Efficient and fast: The methods are easy and uses simple patterns that appeals to the mind,
simple patterns of correlation
8. Easy and fun: It is enjoyable.
9. Special and General methods: include general methods as well as special methods which are
striking and easy

The Vedic Mathematics Sutras
By one more than the one before
All from 9 and the last from 10
Vertically and Cross-wise
Transpose and Apply
If the Samuccaya is the same it is Zero
If one is in Ratio the other is Zero
By Addition and by Subtraction
By the Completion or Non-Completion
Differential Calculus
By the Deficiency
Specific and General
The Remainders by the Last Digit
The Ultimate and Twice the Penultimate
By One Less than the One Before
The Product of the Sum
All the Multipliers

Example 1: All from 9 and the last from 10.

Example 2a: Vertically and Crosswise

Example 2b: Vertically and Crosswise

Example 2c: Vertically and Cross-wise

Square of numbers that end in 5
= 5625
75 means 75 x 75.
The answer is in two parts: 56 and 25.
The last part is always 25.
The first part is the first number, 7, multiplied
by the number "one more", which is 8: so 7 x
8 = 56
Example 4: Guess the sutra

Method for multiplying numbers where the
first figures are the same and the last figures
add up to 10.
32 x 38 = 1216
Both numbers here start with 3 and the last
figures (2 and 8) add up to 10.
So we just multiply 3 by 4 (the next number
up) to get 12 for the first part of the answer.
And we multiply the last figures: 2 x 8 = 16 to
get the last part of the answer.
An elegant way of multiplying numbers using a
simple pattern: Vertically and Crosswise

21 x 23 = 483
We first put, or imagine, 23 below 21:
There are 3 steps:
a) Multiply vertically on the left: 2 x 2 = 4.
This gives the first figure of the answer.
b) Multiply crosswise and add: 2 x 3 + 1 x 2
= 8 This gives the middle figure.
c) Multiply vertically on the right: 1 x 3 = 3
This gives the last figure of the answer.
Conclusion: The qualities and the features of the Vedic mathematics suggest ways of teaching
mathematics (methodology). Flexibility and the variety of methods give more creative approach to
math teaching and learning. Its flexibility and simplicity of this method leads to increased curiosity
and interest in subjects among children. Development of mental agility helps in making the lessons
enjoyable and mental math becomes easy. Hence the rigid flat approach that led to many problems
in mathematics education disappears and an enjoyable creative style of math education is possible.
Mathematics can be used as a tool to bring about all round development of the child.