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Dilemma in teaching mathematics

Md Kamaruddin , Nafisah Kamariah and Md Amin, Zulkarnain (2008) Dilemma in teaching mathematics. In: Seminar Kebangsaan Matematik & Masyarakat 2008, 13-14 Februari 2008, Kuala Terengganu.


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The challenge in mathematics education is finding the best way to teach mathematics. When students learn the reasoning and proving in mathematics, they will be proficient in mathematics. Students must know mathematics before they can apply it. Symbolism and logic is the key to both the learning of mathematics and its effective application to problem situations. Above all, the use of appropriate language is the key in making mathematics intelligible. In a very real sense, mathematics is a language. Proficiency in this language can be acquired only by long and carefully supervised experience in using it in situations involving argument and proof. Mathematics is essentially a structured hierarchy of proposition forged by logic on a postulation base. However, nowadays the teaching of mathematics is more on focusing the mathematical procedures. Students learn variety of problem solving in mathematics and then on its application. In addition, the teaching of mathematics is moving towards the use of mathematics in the real world. This method is said to motivate students to learn mathematics and enabling them to transfer this knowledge to their daily live and future career. There are belief that due to the current overemphasis on problem solving and applications, students who enjoy working the problems in high school math and hence decide that they like mathematics and want to major in it, find that the nature of the subject change abruptly when they encounter the proof courses. They are bewildered and dismayed. Their previous problem solving courses did not prepare them for this abrupt changed. Is argument and proof in the applications-problem centered domain of school mathematics being postponed, suppressed and downgraded? Are we sacrificing the essence of mathematics in order to motivate students to learn and appreciate mathematics? In this paper the authors will discuss on this issue.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Uncontrolled Keywords: mathematics education; problem solving; real life; motivation; logic
Subjects: Q Science > QA Mathematics
Divisions: Faculty of Electrical and Electronic Engineering > Department of Electrical Technology
Depositing User: Normajihan Abd. Rahman
Date Deposited: 28 Mar 2012 07:52
Last Modified: 28 Mar 2012 07:52
URI: http://eprints.uthm.edu.my/id/eprint/2230
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