When I was in school, I remember asking a friend: Did you answer the Math question that was given to us as homework?
My friend said: First of all, in Math, questions are called 'problems'. And, you don't answer them. You 'solve' them.
I found this fascinating. While my friend may have pointed out an irrelevant semantic, I suddenly felt very different about Math. A subject that was just a bunch of symbols and equations became more promising!
I felt as if I was not a student but a young detective! Many years later, after solving many problems in Math, this what I have learned:
Why should all children learn Math?
-Other than a few Math problems, every Math problem is solved. When children solve 1000s of Math problems, they grow up to realise that every problem has a solution
- Math teaches children resilience. It teaches them to keep trying until the problem is solved. It teaches them to be flexible and alter their thinking when needed in order to solve a problem. Resilience, flexibility, problem-solving are among the top skills needed by employers in 2025, according to World Education Forum in a report.
- Math is fun. It is like a game with a bunch of problems to be solved. And, we know that children love games and challenges!
Here are some key learnings for schools:
- Children may not see how Math is useful immediately. They will see it when they grow up. Whether they are deciding which item to purchase or build a product strategy, they will find mathematical thinking a part of their daily decision-making.
- Make sure every child learns Math, despite the struggle. This struggle will develop a growth mindset in children. They will thank you later.
- Design good math problems. The better a problem, the more will children think. The more children think, the better problem-solvers they will become.
You can also explore Open Door's school programs - Mastery Assessments and Thinking Classroom. Each program helps teachers introduce good Math problems in their teaching resulting into children improving their thinking ability.
Have you ever been to Disney world?A place with amazing rides, magic shows, theme parks, parades and a lot of cartoon characters. Many things to explore.
Bombay Scottish School, Mumbai, one of the top schools in India has been using Open Door’s Mastery Assessments program for many years. Recently, a mastery cycle was completed and 10 – 15% improvement was noticed in learning outcomes.