Daily Archives: December 18, 2015

How NOT to teach mathematics


When will people learn “how to teach mathematics?”

For example, Vigyan Prasar (Department of Science & Technology, Govt. of India) telecasts a 13 part video serial: गणित की सीढियां (The Maths Factor), on Lok Sabha TV Every Saturday at 11.00-11.30 am from 05 December, 2015.

Episode synopsis of the episode titled “The Calculus Enigma” reads:

This episode explores the ever so scary concept within mathematics- Calculus!

I just now came to know that “calculus is a scary concept of mathematics”.

Also,  episode synopsis of the episode titled “Topology” gives a brand new WRONG definition for Topology:

Topology is the study of unusual shapes.

Another, episode synopsis of the episode titled “Number Sense” reads:

Anywhere in the world – China, Arabia, Africa, Venezuela – languages, font, metaphors change – but the number systems are truly universal.

The author of above episode should seriously read Wikipedia article: Numeral system. Are Roman and Hindu-Arabic number system same?

I really feel pity for people who make such filthy episodes.

Also, National Council of Educational Research and Training (Ministry of Human Resource Development, Govt. of India), publishes Mathematics textbooks for class 1 to 12 (in हिन्दी , اردو and English). And, interestingly at starting of Chapter -1 of Class XII Mathematics Textbook, G. H. Hardy has been quoted:

There is no permanent place in the world for ugly mathematics … . It may be very hard to define mathematical beauty but that is just as true of beauty of any kind, we may not know quite what we mean by a beautiful poem, but that does not prevent us from recognizing one when we read it.

Ironically, no public library in India has books by G. H. Hardy!