“Mathematics is not only taught because it is useful. It should be a source of delight and wonder, offering pupils intellectual excitement and an appreciation of its essential creativity.”
The above is a quote from a National Curriculum Council publication with the ‘inspiring’ title Non-statutory Guidance (1989), found in the book Getting the Buggers to Add Up (Allerton, 2006).
It caused me to think about the time I spent in maths lessons, and whether or not it really mirrored my own experiences. I found maths interesting in school, and yes occasionally a source of delight, but I think that initially this came from the fact that I could ‘do it’ with relative ease, with the true value of such knowledge being realised later in life.
As a trained accountant – and as sad as this next statement is – I find joy in accuracy. Such accuracy is of course achieved partly through experience and practice, but also through the way I approach mathematics. I tend to think of maths as one massive system, interlinked in a mostly logical, sometimes obscure, manner, which can be manipulated in infinite ways to solve countless problems faced by human beings all over the globe on a daily basis.
As a pupil, I was never introduced to the true creative value that mathematics can offer and instead my lessons focused mostly on the mechanical side of mathematics. As a result I find that I approach mathematics logically, but sometimes struggle to think outside the box.
This blog will continue through the next year, mapping my development (both intellectually and creatively) as a teacher in training, my changing perspectives and to “reflect” on my experiences both in and out the classroom. I may sounds pretentious at times, and many of my posts may just be poorly written rants, but I hope some value can be found in all of this and that you enjoy reading them as much as I enjoy writing them.