Monday, June 30, 2008

Why Cavemen Drew on Cave Walls

Pre-historic cavemen already knew what the human brain is not good in - it is not good in memorizing large amount of information and it is not good in doing procedures. They drew on cave walls to help them retain information. They created simple machines to carry out procedures. Mankind's subsequant endeavour in inventing paper and creating more and more powerful computer storage devices as well as our attempt to invent increasingly complex and sophisticated machines only tell us one thing - the human brain is not superior in memorizing and doing procedures. Making children learn mathematics by memorizing and doing procedures result in two things - they don't do well or they struggle, only to do well superficially. Our brain is a visual brain. Our brain is good at spotting patterns and trends and coming to a general conclusion. Get children to visualize. Get them to look for patterns and make connections when they learn mathematics. These are their strengths. In turn, these abilities become increasingly more and more powerful. Mathematics is about visualization and looking for patterns. Mathematics is not about memorization and procedures.

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