5 Hidden Values In Exploring Math Creatively

Creative Math – Teaching primary mathematics should not be bound to any textbook, physical classroom, nor to any single specific learning outcome as set in our curricula. Mathematics is a term that opens the gate to a richness of opportunities to investigate skills and concepts in a much wider context, i.e. real life. This is the current perspective and pedagogical stance which is directing primary mathematics teachers into exploring innovative and creative ways on how to present mathematical concepts.

Here are some hidden values in exploring mathematics creatively.


1. Empowers pupils to take ownership of their learning as active learners


It is no longer about the teaching but rather about the learning. The distinction reflects the important notion that pupils should be actively engaged in the learning process. Pupils are given the opportunity to inquire, investigate and choose from a variety of resources. They can direct the focus of their learning according to their interests and prior knowledge. Pupils’ motivation and expectations increase and so does their confidence in engaging with mathematics skills and concepts.



2. Promotes investigative and problem-solving skills


Creative mathematics is all about developing problem-solving skills which enables pupils to solve unfamiliar mathematical problems creatively. Pupils realize that there might be more than one possible solution to solving a given situation and learn how to adopt diverse strategies towards problem-solving which best suit their learning styles, capabilities and situation. Pupils are also given the time, space and resources to explore mathematical skills and concepts and can devise their own path to a solution.


3. Fosters initiative, innovation and creative thinking

Much focus is being placed upon the terms initiative and creativity, as part of the list of transversal skills required in the 21st century. Society needs citizens who are able to take initiative, who are good decision-makers, problem-solvers and who are able to be creative and think outside the box. Exploring mathematics creatively involves providing open-ended opportunities for our pupils to work collaboratively and to design innovative strategies and solutions to a given situation. This practice allows pupils to foster such important skills which allow them to thrive and to be better equipped for tomorrow’s world.


4. Supports pupils with diverse abilities.

Adopting this approach towards exploring math in real life, also serves to cater for the different students who are diverse in terms of learning abilities and preferences. Such an approach can be considered inclusive and through the continuous representations of mathematical situations as drawn from real life, pupils will have the chance to explore math from different perspectives while the learning becomes more appealing. The variety of learning modes, enables most students to participate and to remain engaged on the task.


5. Heightens understanding and retention.

Hands-on experiences allow students to apply their learnt skills and concepts in practice. Such opportunities provide pupils with a repertoire of experiences which they can recall and allows them to become more confident at applying their knowledge in the future. Through hands-on practice, learners are able to self-assess where they require further support. These activities provide a meaningful context to learning and promotes retention of learnt math skills and concepts.


H/T: Scientix





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