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Mathematics: Developing children's abilities for mathematisation is the main goal of mathematics education. The narrow aim of school...

Mathematics:

Developing children's abilities for mathematisation is the main goal of mathematics education. The narrow aim of school mathematics is to develop 'useful' capabilities, particularly those relating to numeracy–numbers, number operations, measurements, decimals and percentages. The higher aim is to develop the child's resources to think and reason mathematically, to pursue assumptions to their logical conclusion and to handle abstraction. It includes a way of doing things, and the ability and the attitude to formulate and solve problems. 

This calls for a curriculum that is ambitious, coherent and teaches important principles of mathematics. It should be ambitious in the sense that it seeks to achieve the higher aim mentioned above, rather than only the narrower aim. It should be coherent in the sense that the variety of methods and skills available piecemeal (in arithmetic, algebra, geometry) cohere into an ability to address problems that come from other domains such as science and social studies in high school. It should be important in the sense that students feel the need to solve such problems, that teachers and students find it worth their time and energy to address these problems. The twin concerns of the Mathematics curriculum are: what can mathematics education do to engage the mind of every student, and how can it strengthen the student's resources? 

As mathematics is a compulsory subject at the secondary stage, access to quality mathematics education is the right of every child. In the context of univeralisation of education, the first question to ask is, what mathematics can be offered in eight years of schooling that will stand every child in good stead rather than be a preparation for higher secondary education alone? Most of the skills taught in primary school mathematics are useful. However, a reorientation of the curriculum towards addressing the 'higher aims' mentioned above will make better use of the time that children spend in school in terms of the problem-solving and analytical skills that it builds, and in preparing children to better meet a wide variety of problems in life. Also, the tall shape of mathematics (where mastery of one topic is a prerequisite for the next) can be de-emphasised in favour of a broader-based curriculum with more topics that starts from the basics. This will serve the needs of different learners better
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CLEAR CTET: Mathematics
Mathematics
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