''Models'' to help students overcome mathematics phobia

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New Delhi, Nov 11 (UNI) Teaching mathematics to children will be easier if the concept of ''Mathematical laboratory'' become popular in schools.

Over 130 working models explaining the different concepts in mathematics ranging from addition to probability curves will be displayed at an exhibition, to help students overcome their difficulties.

One of the primary objectives of the mathematical lab set up by the Institute of Scientific Research and Training (ISRT), is to develop inter-disciplinary links with other subjects to make mathematics more pragmatic and life-oriented at the school level.

''A phobia has been created in the minds of children that mathematics is tough to learn, as a result most of the students are not taking interest in the subject and it has become one of the main causes of student's failure in mathematics,'' said Dr A Sukumaran Nair, former Vice-Chancellor of M G University in Kerala.

A study conducted by the State Council for Educational Research and Training (SCERT), said a majority of the students who failed in the Secondary Leaving Certificate Examination in 2006 and 2007 are in mathematics.

With the help of the models, a teacher will be able to visually explain some of the abstract concepts using the models, and students can learn the subject more effectively, ISRT said.

The models to be displayed at the exhibition have been classified into primary, secondary and higher secondary levels.

In the primary level, students find it difficult to study fractions, conversion of fraction to decimal and decimal to fractions.

The teachers also find it difficult to explain the concepts. There are eight models available at the exhibition to overcome this difficulty.

Algebric identities, a model that can be used to prove identities in the geometric method, is one of the prominent models at the secondary level.

Students learn the mathematical theories by heart due to absence of proper technical aids. There are 33 other models explaining various mathematical theorems and concepts at the secondary level.

Octants among the 41 models at the higher secondary level can be used to visualise the position and to coordinate a point in space and also to explain the distance between a point in the plane or in space to the origin.

The concept of mathematical laboratory was started by the Central Board of Secondary Education, to help students overcome their fear of mathematics.

The ISRT with its own manufacturing units of these models, plans to provide these items to schools on demand.

The exhibition will be inaugurated by the Minister of State in the Human Resource Development Mohammad Ali Ashraf Fatmi, at Delhi Public School, Mathura Road tomorrow.

UNI

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