Mathematics is a characteristic way of organising our experience of the world which is employed wherever there is a ‘pattern’ or ‘structure’. As such, it may enrich our understanding, enabling us to relate and interpret our experiences as well as giving pleasure. Mathematics has important applications in many other fields. We cannot say what mathematical knowledge will be useful to our students, but a significant proportion will need to know some mathematics and also be aware of how it can be applied.
Mathematics provides the most readily accessible form of problem solving in the classroom because it does not depend on the pre-existence of a substantial body of knowledge. Involvement in problem solving enables pupils to exercise and acquire confidence in their intellectual powers. Thinking independently, and expressing arguments in a logical and ordered manner, does not always come easily. Good habits can be acquired by being in an environment in which thinking is explicitly valued, and by coming to recognise the general value of reasoning. One may also acquire some strategies which are more generally useful.
At Cranleigh Abu Dhabi we endeavour to engender all the above principles in an atmosphere of comfort, with none of the ‘threat’ which, unfortunately, this subject traditionally has associated with it…..and we work hard to dispel some of those commonly held misconceptions!