TED talks on how to overcome kids’ aversion to math

TED talks on how to overcome kids’ aversion to math

Most parents are convinced that their children don’t have the ability to learn math. As a result, parents do nothing when their kids fail math tests. Math, in fact, isn’t hard to study and every child is able to learn its basics. The key is to understand the source of math aversion and to motivate your kids accordingly. The following TED talks will help you to overcome kids’ aversion to math.

A power of playing with math

Math is not about memorizing the rules. It’s about being creative, discovering new things, and thinking outside the box. Dan Finkel, the founder of Math for Love, talks about 5 principles parents should follow to encourage their kids to learn math. According to the speaker, play is the best way to show children the beauty, magic, and power of mathematical thinking.

“Einstein called play the highest form of research. And a math teacher who lets their students play with math gives them the gift of ownership. Playing with math can feel like running through the woods when you were a kid. And even if you were on a path, it felt like it all belonged to you. Parents, if you want to know how to nurture the mathematical instincts of your children, play is the answer. What books are to reading, play is to mathematics. And a home filled with blocks and puzzles and games and play is a home where mathematical thinking can flourish. I believe we have the power to help mathematical thinking flourish everywhere. We can’t afford to misuse math to create passive rule-followers.”

An innovative approach to learning

Have you ever wondered why algebra is so difficult for children? Math teacher Emanuel Chanzer has an interesting take on this issue. He believes that the root of the problem lies in the way math is taught in schools.

Before becoming a high school teacher in Boston, Emmanuel Schanzer spent several years as a software engineer. Check out his exciting story about an innovative online math program.

Computer-based math curriculum

Space tourism, medical technology, high-speed internet access, gadgets, and mobile apps – all these examples of engineering wouldn’t have been created without the development of math. An understanding of math is a gateway to exciting and lucrative careers. Why, then, is math so unpopular among children? Konrad Wolfram believes that a current math curriculum can’t arouse interest in children. It’s boring, tiring and doesn’t respond to the challenges of the modern world. Konrad offers a rather splendid idea of teaching children math through programming.

“We’ve got a real problem with math education right now. Basically, no one’s very happy. Those learning it think it’s disconnected, uninteresting and hard. Those trying to employ them think they don’t know enough. Governments realize that it’s a big deal for our economies, but don’t know how to fix it. And teachers are also frustrated. Yet math is more important to the world than at any point in human history. So at one end we’ve got falling interest in education in math, and at the other end we’ve got a more mathematical world, a more quantitative world than we ever have had.”

Paid math homework

Would you like to be paid for doing your math homework? Sure, you would. Mohamad Jebara is fond of math and concerned that a huge amount of kids find it boring and useless. The company he works for is conducting an unusual experiment. They pay schoolchildren for completing math homework. Pretty cool idea, right?

“Many parents would pay their children an allowance or pocket money for doing chores in the house. So it wasn’t really all that controversial. As I thought about that, it started to answer that second question of how we were going to fund this. Naturally, parents are the most invested in their children’s education. So, let’s charge them a weekly subscription fee to use our program, but if the students complete their weekly maths goal, we’ll refund the subscription amount directly into the child’s bank account. We chose three exercises completed over a one week period for a 10 dollar reward. That way we’re incentivizing effort rather than performance over a short enough period and with a substantial enough payout for the students to care.”

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We also believe that the approach to teaching math at schools should be revised. Children shouldn’t find math boring and tiring. They should love it! For this purpose, we designed an app that turns learning into an exciting adventure. Math, quizzes, reading, and much more are available to download for free here.