MI Monday | Maths in the Community

Welcome to MI Monday I Week 7

The idea of teaching mathematics is to develop concept building, problem solving, reasoning and connection making abilities in children to use it in real-world situations. However, most of the time, the curriculum or concepts in mathematics are not connect to the experience of youth living in the community. Due to this reason, students lose interest and fall back in the subject.

Today’s micro-innovation illustrates how a STIR teacher ‘change-maker’  has infused ‘life’ and meaning in mathematics for children through community based projects. Such community based projects can be really effective as it has dual advantage of providing students with an experience of using maths in  real life and also increasing the participation of the community in student learning.

Problem statement
Geeta realised that her students’ understanding of mathematical concepts is often surface level only and that they fail to develop deeper knowledge required for true learning.

Micro-innovation description
Geeta asks her students to collect data through surveys in the community and in other classrooms in the school. She then makes use of the data gathered in statistics/Mathematics lessons, therefore increasing the relevance of the learning. For example, students survey 50 people in the community about the colour they like. Geeta then uses this data to teach students how to make pie charts. Geeta tries to relate every unit of Mathematics to practical work so that her students understand all concepts.

Why interesting
This micro-innovation recognises that students learn more effectively when they have to apply knowledge that is relevant to them. The surveying aspect of the micro-innovation also builds self-confidence and improves students’ conversation skills.

Potential implementation challenges
The micro-innovation may be challenging to implement because the requirement for children to gather data in the community could be seen as dangerous for young children.

Impact so far (according to teacher)
Geeta reports that for the days that she teaches maths using these practical techniques, 100% of the children attend. On tests, she reports that very high percentages of students pass following this kind of teaching.

Download the implementation guide for Maths in the community. Let us teach ‘real’ maths to our children!

STIR Education

STIR Education

STIR is a UK based charity working in developing countries ( India and Africa) to improve quality of school education by working with teachers in the poorest schools in the region.

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