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To Indomitable Ahmad Mara

M.Math It is one of several other human endeavors that have shaped the current cutting edge of science and technology. On the one hand, mathematics has an important place in any curriculum, but on the other hand, giving mathematics instruction remains a headache for almost all institutions, even at the university level.

It is not uncommon to find mathematicians who are not adept in the sciences who give mathematics instruction. Charles Dodgson, aka Lewis Carroll, author of Alice in Wonderland and Looking Through the Glass, reportedly found it very difficult to teach. Friedrich Gauss is reported to have hated teaching. It was later reported that he began to enjoy it when the quality of his students improved.

One of the greatest mathematical minds of our time, Grigori Perelman, who declined the Fields Medal after solving one of the most difficult problems in mathematics, the Poincaré conjecture, returned to the Steklov Institute in 2005. reportedly quit his job at A painful topic to discuss.

This situation is grim and disappointing. Those of you who have had the chance to see the movie A Beautiful Mind may remember how bad it was for Professor John Nash at Princeton University. The fact remains that not all good scholars are good teachers. In fact, some of the outstanding scholars and researchers mentioned above have proven pathetic in their teaching and dissemination of information.

Is there a cure? Remedy? Probably yes.

Calculus, analysis, combinatorics and geometry are not all mathematics. In the words of Ian Stewart, one of the greatest popularizers of mathematics of his time, “In the last fifty years more mathematics has been created than in all previous epochs combined.” Given the large amount of research papers produced each year and the dire state of education in Higher Education Institutions (HEIs), the question of pedagogy becomes a very serious problem and concern in mathematics. We need very good teachers. To do so, mathematics education must be introduced or adapted to find a respectable place in the already obscure and confusing mathematics curriculum. Mathematics education is the practice of teaching and learning mathematics along with related studies. It is the knowledge of how, what, when, where and why of teaching mathematics.

In 2015, a project called INDRUM (International Network for Didactic Research in University Mathematics) was established. Its main purpose is to contribute to the development of mathematics teaching research at all levels of university education. So far, his three INDRUM conferences in 2016, 2018 and 2020 have resulted in a decent exchange of views and a lot of high-quality research shared in this regard. In his recent 2021 Springer publication Research and Development in University Mathematics Teaching, some key points from these his INDRUM conferences are presented in a comprehensible way to help distinguish mathematicians from mathematics educators. explained in words.

One of the specific studies discussed in the book concerns the current state of mathematics teaching in several countries, including Australia and the United States. In Australia there is a clear divide between mathematicians and mathematics educators. But this disparity does not exist in the United States. In fact, one-third of his mathematics education positions and doctoral programs are offered in mathematics education in the United States. But Australians are now beginning to understand the way forward. They correct their mistakes and acknowledge that mathematics education has become essential and urgent.

The state of our higher education institutions is a pity. Each year, hundreds, if not thousands, of graduate students complete their degrees with little idea of ​​what to do. Given that Pioneers themselves are not deeply rooted in or out of teaching, they are unlikely to be sufficiently familiar with their subject to become good leaders.

Over the course of more than ten years of mathematics education at the elementary, school, and higher levels, I have come to realize that mere perfect mastery of what we teach does not make our teaching as good as we would like it to be. rice field. We need to embrace mathematics education and learn the tricks of the trade before rushing students to theorems and exercises.

Unfortunately, teaching positions are determined based on academic and research performance rather than an assessment of how much the applicant loves the subject. In the words of ME Sangster, “Nobody should teach if he doesn’t like teaching.”

The art of teaching is more sacred and difficult to master than reaching an academic position lacking skill and compassion.

The views expressed in the article are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the editorial attitude of the Kashmir Observer

  • The authors are Assistant Professors GDC Sopore, Jammu & Kashmir, and can be contacted at: [email protected]

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