Questions tagged [mathematical-pedagogy]

for questions on general considerations and problems of teaching mathematics, i.e., issues specific to teaching mathematics yet relevant to various contexts and courses.

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5
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4answers
224 views

How to convince parents that Mathematical puzzles/games help students in their academics too

I write content and conduct workshops for an education firm and also in schools where I try to make them realise how beautifully mathematics and rational thinking complement each other (on elementary ...
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6answers
652 views

Would taking 5 minutes to explain the history behind a mathematical idea help stimulate learning the idea?

I read a paper in my "Research Issues in Mathematical Education" class that I have applied to the Undergraduate Calculus I and Calculus II class that I teach. I take five minutes to explain the ...
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14answers
2k views

Revisiting topics from previous courses

I teach calculus to students who have almost all taken calculus before. (Primarily first-year college students who took calculus in high school but didn't perform well enough to skip the course.) ...
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3answers
715 views

What teaching strategies can we learn from this logic puzzle going viral?

By now I'm sure everyone has run into the math puzzle where Albert and Bernard try to deduce Cheryl's birthday, which is all over social media, and even traditional media! If you don't know what I'm ...
6
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3answers
348 views

How do I convince my teachers that a book on maths must focus on conceptual understanding?

I am a senior teacher at this school. We have to select the textbooks for the upcoming session. I am proposing that we have to select books (in maths) that focus more on conceptual understanding and ...
15
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8answers
3k views

Should high school teachers say “real numbers” before teaching complex numbers?

Before complex numbers are introduced in senior high school courses, should we emphasise that solutions (e.g. to quadratic equations) are real solutions? If we do, then when non-real numbers finally ...
8
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3answers
400 views

Advantages of using script letters

In which areas of mathematics is it traditional to use script letters, such as $\mathcal{ABCDEFG}$, and is there a pedagogical advantage to doing so?
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2answers
201 views

How should one approach the concept of “plus or minus”, such as in the numerator of the quadratic formula?

The numerator is structured like: $$(-b)\pm\sqrt{b^2- 4ac}.$$ Is it confusing or acceptable to distinguish between the following two things? An idiom; and What is or seems to be a compositionally ...
6
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2answers
289 views

Difference in difficulty between removing and adding structures?

In Fantasy math, Peter Saveliev remarks: Removing structures from consideration is hard; adding is much easier. Compare how you start with point-set topology -- by removing the geometry from the ...
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5answers
275 views

Pedagogical considerations behind current order of presentation of trigonometry

A pre-calculus book (Precalculus ed 1 By Miller and Gerken), presents trigonometry in the following order: 1- Angles 2- Trigonometric functions defined on the unit circle 3- Right triangle ...
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2answers
106 views

Should the limits of one system of elementary set theory be the limits of a student's mathematical world? [closed]

In teaching elementary set theory, suppose we refrain from emphasizing historical decisions that were made in theory construction. Is there a danger that students may see the mathematical language ...
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3answers
280 views

How to explain the motivation of parentheses in addition, subtraction and multiplication?

My kid, 5 years old, knows addition, subtraction and multiplication now, of course, in a basic level. Also he understands that parentheses means "whichever inside shall be computed first". When I ...
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5answers
2k views

Teaching asymptotic notations at the beginning of calculus [duplicate]

I'm thinking about teaching calculus by firstly introducing the asymptotic notations (big-Oh, little-oh, and $\sim$), secondly explaining their "arithmetic" (things like how to sum little-oh's and ...
7
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3answers
326 views

On fractions and the least common multiple

At least in my country, the explanation of the basic operations over rational numbers is done very near to the concept of prime numbers, prime factorization, and the calculation of the least common ...
6
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1answer
849 views

Why is it popular to teach modulus via the example of mod 12 and analogue clocks?

Why is it popular to teach modulus via the example of mod 12 and analogue clocks rather than rectangles or tables that have a finite number of columns in each row, and infinitely many rows? It's ...
6
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3answers
159 views

(Riemann integrability) How do you explain this to a high school student?

The following question was in a high school teacher's guide: Let $f\colon\mathbb{R}\rightarrow\mathbb{R}$ defined by $$f(x)=\begin{cases} x & x\in\mathbb{R}\setminus\mathbb{Q}\\ 2x & x\...
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2answers
76 views

Retain problems and combat regression in learning

Regressive Learning It's a really stressful situation. I can achieve but not retain expertise in maths problems. History 6 months back, I studied integration in Calculus at college. I learnt it all ...
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2answers
365 views

List of math competition problems by topic

I am working with a student who is very interested in math competitions, and I am teaching him Algebra I. I feel like doing competition problems related to a given topic is an excellent way to force ...
4
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2answers
146 views

Finland's performance on international competitions

Why it is said that Finland has a particularly good education system, but Finland's performance on international mathematics competitions is quite often at relatively intermediate level?
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1answer
427 views

Is there research on the efficacy of taking good notes in math class?

I teach at community college, and have often encountered others talking about helping students learn to take good notes. I have never felt that I took good notes as a student. I was too busy thinking ...
45
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22answers
17k views

How to explain Monty Hall problem when they just don't get it

Talking to some friends, I was asked to explain the answer to the Monty Hall problem (see also here;) .... they were having some trouble because whoever explained it to them didn't do a very good job. ...
8
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4answers
226 views

Should school syllabus include chapters partially?

In my locality, many schools have this tendency to partially include this and that chapter in the syllabus (for almost every subject). For example, (most of the chapters are subdivided in two or more ...
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4answers
902 views

Evaluating the reception of (epsilon, delta) definitions

Both education researchers and mathematicians discuss the challenge of (epsilon, delta) type definitions in real analysis and the student reception of them. My impression has been that mathematicians ...
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3answers
265 views

Explanation challenge: Why is a spiral ray-gun difficult to aim?

In an off-topic discussion, I tried to explain to a student why a "ray-gun" that (somehow!) shoots a ray that followed a spiral path would be much more difficult to aim at a particular target (point ...
3
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2answers
382 views

Enlighten younger students about the concept of “procedural justice” in mathematics?

I am tutoring a 16-year-old student from my home country (in Asia) in, roughly speaking, precalculus. I would like to give him a feeling of procedural justice, so to speak, in modern mathematics, ...
6
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4answers
353 views

Ideas for the introduction of the derivative?

I want to introduce to my class to the derivative, but I am still searching for a good, realistic context that isn't too hard to understand, without seeming to be contrived. Do you have an ideas for ...
5
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1answer
298 views

Propositional and predicate logic, with quantifiers: Is there any research when it is ideal to explicitly teach in mathematics education?

In terms of helping students to understand propositional and predicate logic, with quantifiers, is there any research regarding when it is most advantageous for students studying mathematics, to first ...
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7answers
351 views

Category mistakes regarding symbols and their impact on math (mis) understanding. ( Object symbol/ sentence symbol confusion)

A friend of mine that teaches math has made many times the following experiment : drawing two circles on the blackboard representing two sets A and B such that A and B are disjoint writing on the ...
10
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2answers
239 views

Pros and cons of randomised question generation

I am developing an assessment piece where the content is the same but the particular numbers are different for each student. It involves finding Triangle Centers given points using coordinate geometry....
8
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3answers
225 views

Targeted group game for 8 or 9 players

I am a graduate math student and I believe that a nice way to raise the mathematical skills of people(especially students!) is to familiarize them with games and encourage them to use their minds and ...
2
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0answers
108 views

A compelling example of what complex numbers are for, before teaching them [duplicate]

When talking to kids before they are taught complex numbers, I would really like to give some examples of why it will be exciting to learn them. I am comfortable explaining the intellectual ...
8
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3answers
294 views

Solutions to exercises

I am teaching the exercise sessions for a 3rd year algebra course (intro to field theory, Galois theory and Algebraic geometry). The format of the course is as follows: for every 2 hour lecture by the ...
3
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1answer
149 views

Naming arbitrary constants: subscripts, primes, or just more letters?

When choosing names for arbitrary constants either during a lesson or while working with a single student, should one use$\{n_1,n_2,n_3,\dotsc\}$ or $\{n, n', n'', \dotsc\}$ or $\{a,b,c,\dotsc\}$? Is ...
2
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0answers
183 views

why don't we do labs in/for math?

(this is in the US and at a high school level) why don't we dedicate a day of the week each week to do a lab for math for exploration? I mean we already do that for Earth Science, Physics, Chemistry ...
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4answers
481 views

Elementary physics course for pure math student

Are there any mathematical departments which present the course "elementary physics" for pure math undergraduate students, separately? Is there a way to present this course with the most pure ...
6
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2answers
209 views

Collaborative note taking

I have been encouraging my classmates to connect with me on Google Docs to work collaboratively on taking notes. Still, no takers though. I imagine that if I were a professor, I would attempt to get ...
8
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2answers
344 views

Obtaining printed copies of the textbook series Unified Modern Mathematics

I'm seeking the textbooks that were released in the 1960's call Unified Modern Mathematics. I'm aware 3 parts of the course exist online but I would like to use them in hard copy form. I find these ...
5
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1answer
250 views

How is math taught in elementry school in Finland?

I read on the internet that Finland has the best education system in the world at that in Finland, students are taught to love mistakes and that's how they learn and become smarter. I could not find ...
5
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2answers
184 views

Course of action with 13 year old with weak sense of number and operations

One of my private students is a 13year old girl who started school at age 5 (instead of the regular 6, in my country). Testimony from parents show she had no sense of number at the time, would not ...
13
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6answers
577 views

How do I help my student understand concepts such as “$x$ divided by $x$”?

I am tutoring a high school level student (who is currently at the level of being introduced to anti derivatives) who has quite some trouble with grasping mathematics. We have been making good ...
10
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1answer
426 views

The “rearranging” approach to teaching logarithms

Consider the following way to teach division: Division works this way: any product equation $xy = z$ can be rewritten as a quotient equation $x = \frac{z}{y}$. Just move the numbers in that way. ...
5
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0answers
244 views

Mimic lecturing on blackboard, but facing audience [closed]

I teach mathematics at MSc and PhD levels. My preferred method of teaching is old-fashioned: talking and writing on the blackboard at the same time. Why? Because it has many advantages: Handwriting: ...
8
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4answers
482 views

A more rigorous approach to Precalculus

I am a pure mathematics PhD student and graduate teaching assistant at a major state university. During the summers here, teaching assistants are typically appointed to teach an entire course, rather ...
8
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2answers
147 views

Math Lessons with Two Parts and a Combination

This is fairly open ended, so I understand if people consider this to be off-topic. I'm interested in creating math lessons where two groups each learn how to use a different simple math skill, and ...
2
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2answers
108 views

Are questions on overlapping solids of revolutions without prior definitions and instructions fair given that there are divided interpretations?

If words of command are not clear and distinct, if orders are not thoroughly understood, the general is to blame. But if his orders are clear, and the soldiers nevertheless disobey, then it is the ...
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6answers
5k views

Issues with “equals”, where does this come from and how do I combat it?

An issue I see with students a lot is abuse of the equals sign. For example, one problem asked "what is the degree of the polynomial: $\text{polynomial}$?", and I got answers like "$\text{polynomial}=...
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3answers
369 views

Could students learn a lot more from school if they're only taught number theory until way later?

According to https://www.inc.com/bill-murphy-jr/science-says-were-sending-our-kids-to-school-much-too-early-and-that-can-hurt-th.html, when students get taught a concept when they're so young, they're ...
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3answers
121 views

How can I measure the mathematical computation skills of high school students through a test?

How to analyze the level of difficulty of mathematical computation of a problem on a standard mathematical test designed for high school students? I mean how to choose some indices that can reflect ...
6
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0answers
74 views

Long-form, multi-step, skills-integrating applied mathematics problems in calculus I, II, III

When recently teaching Calculus II to college students, I instructed my students to read and be ready to work through the first 8 or so questions of James Walsh's climate modeling differential ...
0
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1answer
191 views

Grades in a university course on category theory, curving, and how they reflect on the students and/or teacher [closed]

I originally posted this on the Mathematics Stack Exchange, thinking that the best place to post it, but the question quickly accumulated a bunch of close votes since it was not quite within the scope ...

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