Dear Parents and Students,
For the last 14 years, I have been a Mathematics teacher for IBDP (International Baccalaureate diploma programme) and CAIE (Cambridge Assessment International Education). The International Baccalaureate aims to develop inquiring, knowledgeable, and caring young people and encourages them to become active, compassionate, and lifelong learners. (IBO Mission statement,2019). As an educator, I will focus on being a teacher who supports a ‘lifelong learner’ concept. The Oxford dictionary defines ‘lifelong learning’ as the process of gaining meaningful knowledge and skills throughout life which helps an individual do any task with great interest and success. Being a lifelong learner helps one understand their true identity, become independent, and use education as a powerful tool to change the world (Nelson Mandela). Unfortunately, in India, Mathematics is taught or learned in a way to meet the ‘content’ needs for exams and falls short of taking into account the demand of the time such as using technology, and a wide range of flexible skills and mindset to accept changes and challenges of the 21st century (Hazelwood et al,2001, p.11).
During middle school, we use several games and shortcuts to help a student understand a concept related to numbers and basic algebra; however, such tools are rarely helpful for upper secondary students, as they require knowledge and a sound understanding of mathematical concepts to directly apply in real-life scenarios. By the time students begin their upper secondary education, the ability to learn math starts changing. Some students who can think abstractly can understand math with ease, but some students who struggle with abstractions often get demotivated and self-evaluate themselves as failures and assume that mathematics is not for them (Hridaykant Dewan, Namrita Batra & Inder Singh Chabra, Mathematics education in India, pg-89). In this world where change is constant, the underlying aim of education needs to be to cater to the needs of each and every learner. Keeping all learners motivated and engaged is a requirement of the modern education system. A student must feel comfortable while learning as learning takes place most effectively in classrooms where knowledge is clearly and powerfully organized and where students are highly active in the learning process (National Research Council, 1990; Wiggins & McTighe,1998). This simply means that educators must find alternative routes for teaching to keep each and every learner motivated and engaged so that we can prepare them for the possible challenges of the future by giving them flexible methods to learn certain critical concepts. For making students lifelong learners, educators must adapt teaching tools and methods that can help trigger critical thinking of each learner (Bellanca and Fogarty, 1986 cited in Williams, 2003, p.3). DreamNest aims to provide quality learning to 21st-century learners and team up with parents to create life long learners with great academic success.