Tell it to SunStar: Math in the modern world

“MATHEMATICS in the Modern World” (MMW) is one of the new general education courses that will be initially implemented for the first batch of senior high school graduates who will enroll in higher education for School Year 2018 -2019. The course aims to expose students to the nature of math and its usefulness in the development of the society.

I attended the Commission on Higher Education’s (Ched) second generation training of teachers, the participants of which were the mathematics teachers in Region 7. The trainees were given lectures, were evaluated (there were quizzes and major exams), were asked to submit projects (research proposals and integrated projects) and were graded.

While some teachers said that the topics were new to them, others felt that the lectures were but a review. Still, the majority clamored for teaching strategies. I find the request valid, because teaching strategies facilitate understanding then appreciating.

In view of this I have the following suggestions:

1. Make history of math a compulsory topic. Teaching the history of math will develop a culture of critical thinking. The following questions will surely entice students to learn math more:

--What’s in the Nile river that contributes to the development of Mathematics?

--Greeks are popular in early development of math, but where are they now?

--Why are shadows cast by the sun used to estimate height of objects?

--Who wrote “A Mathematician’s Apology”?

The questions teach us that math changes. The champions of yesterday may not be the champions of today. History indeed helps us to understand the present and will help us seek the forces that will shape our future.

2. Provide more training for MMW teachers. I am with the teachers who find training on teaching strategies necessary. The third batch of teachers are already trained, still the training focuses more on content.

An evaluation was done regarding the training, and the results may be the bases for the conduct of other training, they maybe national or regional. --Prof. Roma Mendoza–Anoos, Cebu Technological University–San Fernando Extension Campus
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