Educate for the Future – Teach Concepts

Any fool can know, the point is to understand.    – Albert Einstein

Don’t Teach to the Test

When I first started teaching math to my young daughter, I used cheerios to explain numbers to her. That went very well. She understood what I was talking about.

As she grew older, I started writing equations and their answers to teach her math. It did not start out well. She did not understand what the equations meant.

Plus and Multiply

2X3

Eventually, I would just tell her the answer, and she would just remember it. When I teach her to memorize the answers, she can pass the test. But, she would not develop an understanding of the meaning of the equations. She would also not learn to question what I am telling her.

Teach the meaning of the equation

Now I teach it differently…by explaining to her what plus actually means.

2+2

2+3

Instead of me giving her answers and her memorizing them, she can think through the problem, and figure out the answer. When I asked her whether 2+3 is the same as 3+2, she figured it out.

Teach concepts

As the problems get tougher, I continue to explain her the concepts. For e.g. I explained multiplication to her –

2X22X3

It amazes me how quickly she picks up the concepts when I explain instead of just testing her.

Educate for the Future

Whether you use Kindergarten Math, or use cheerios and a bowl, teach concepts. Your kid’s future success depends on it.

Computers will do computations at tera-flops and peta-flops speeds. Your child cannot compete with a computer. Don’t make them. Computers can only solve equations that they have been programmed with. The scientists of the future will do what a computer cannot. They will define the equations.

One thought on “Educate for the Future – Teach Concepts

  1. Pingback: Math Teachers at Play (MTaP) Blog Carnival #81 | Life Through A Mathematician's Eyes

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s