Fazlur Rahman Siddiqui -Curriculum and Academic Consultant for Schools Advisor Board
1. Tell us about your role and the school briefly. How long have you been with this school? What education curriculum does it follow?
Actually, I never planned to be a teacher, well before completing my masters; I started teaching in a small school (CBSE) in Kanpur, the objective was to earn some money, while teaching in small school, I received a lot of love and respect from my students that soon resuscitate my shot term profession into my lifetime passion, after completing my masters in Mathematics, I got the opportunity to work in an international School as senior school teacher, taught CIE syllabus for +20 years in different International Schools. Served as Head of Mathematics departments for 16 years and worked as a curriculum developer, represented my schools in many International events. Currently, I am working as a Curriculum and academic consultant for schools advisor board.
I always loved mathematics; this is the only subject which probably has some or the other application every spheres of life. I believe the answer as to why I teach mathematics is in part states that “We envision a world where everyone is enthused about mathematics sees the value and beauty of mathematics and is empowered by the opportunities mathematics affords.” In this statement, there is an emphasis and reasoning for teaching and learning mathematics in its entirety of Principles and Standards.
In addition to preparing students for their careers and post-secondary education, I believe teach mathematics help also to equip students for their active participation in our democratic society. We achieve this objective by stressing examination and basic reasoning with mathematics so people can distinguish and translate claims made by people with great influence as honest or false and deluding.
We face a daily reality such that science is progressively used to portray societal issues and detail proposed arrangements. Without mathematical proficiency, and a solid science personality and feeling of office, individuals from our general public will progressively think that it’s hard to fathom and scrutinize, not to mention test, a significant number of the choices and activities of people with significant influence in political, social, logical, and financial establishments.
We have to expand our accentuation on educating “Mathematics for Life ” and ” Mathematics as Part of Our Cultural Heritage.” Teaching math as a major aspect of social legacy implies that we don’t simply underscore the predominant culture and legacy. By esteeming and building up a superior comprehension of one another and different societies, including the numerous commitments different societies have made to Mathematics, we develop and sustain students characters. On the off chance that we encourage Mathematics with the goal that students are engaged by it, preparation for college and careers will largely take care of itself.
3. Over the years, what innovations did you bring in your teaching?
I emphatically trust that enhancement isn’t something that begins and stops, however, it’s something that requires an expert duty to an on-going procedure of learning, self-reflection, adjustment, and development.
Innovative teaching is the way toward promoting innovative learning, by actualizing new techniques, apparatuses, and substance that can profit students and their inventive potential. Rather than inactively ‘retaining’ the information, understudies ought to be effectively associated with the learning forms, take an interest and team up in genuine learning circumstances, and work on bona fide learning errands, can openly talk about their issues with the teachers.
Therefore, with the induction of computers in education I refreshed myself with new innovation courses like IC3, Instructional Technology for Educators from Michigan State University, Microsoft Teach and learn to use Smartboard.
In 2010, I first time introduced the online test for my students through a website call quia.com, I frequently use Smartboard for my classroom teaching. “At first I sent home videos of my lessons and spent class time doing math with students, and thought of that as aflip class,” “Now I think the flip class is that, instead of a teacher-centred classroom, I have a student-centred classroom. Flipped learning is anything that creates better interactions among students and teachers.”
“As a teacher we have to rethink; Does our pedagogies approach and curriculum in ways that enable students to customise their own paths.”
4. How would you encourage the practical applications of mathematical thinking in everyday life?
Critical thinking is a key factor in isolating those students who can ‘do’ math from the individuals who really comprehend what they’re doing. At the point when students crunch the numbers, they can perform calculations and clarify ideas since they’ve learned formulas and definitions through training and repetition remembrance. They don’t really know why the formulas works, however, they can utilize it. In like manner, they may not realize how some old mathematician characterized the idea, however, they know the definition.
On the other hand, students who’ve been taught to think critically in math can explain why a formula works, and they can trace the steps used to define a concept. Not only can they solve a problem, they can explain the logic behind the process they used to reach a solution.
Think of it this way: at some point or another, most math students get familiar with the Pythagorean Theorem and its related equation. Students can go through utilizing the equation A squared + B squared equivalents C squared to discover the length of the hypotenuse or one of the sides. They can take care of issues including right triangles utilizing the equation if they are given enough data. Students who have been educated to think critically can clarify why the Pythagorean Theorem works. All the more essentially, they know when and how to apply the Pythagorean Theorem to solve a problem even if right triangles aren’t an obvious part of the solution.
Real World Problem Solving
Math course books possibly go so far with regards to exhibiting genuine issues that require mathematical solutions. Texts are sorted out around ideas, making it simple for students to perceive what techniques they have to use to take care of an issue. In the event that the part is on the quadratic equation, students naturally realize they will utilize that formula sooner or later to answer each question, even an intricate word issue. Basic reasoning sets in when students have an assortment of choices for tackling an issue. Students apply basic reasoning to locate the best procedure out of numerous conceivable techniques to achieve an answer.
Here’s a problem that requires mathematical critical thinking:
Based on current trends in rising or falling temperatures, predict the average high and low temperatures for five different places on Earth five years from now.
To take care of the issue, students should examine information, decide the patterns in each place, and select a technique for foreseeing future temperatures. They may need to utilize an assortment of formulas and measurable apparatuses to frame their forecasts. Teachers can take a stride further by requesting that students clarify and shield the techniques they utilized.
5. Why do you think students fear Math subject? What kind of challenges do you face in the classroom?
Weakness in the basic concepts – is the main factor of fear for Math.
You cannot solve questions based on probability with having vague concept of fractions. Few students don’t understand unitary system, fractions, and decimals and try to solve ratio and proportions. Chances are 50-50. Either you will apply formulae and get result or you will get confused because basic concepts are not clear.
Even if a student understands all the concepts, regular practice is necessary.
I remember the bell problem. Probably I was in class 6. Question was something like this: Few bells rang at certain time and they will keep ringing in fixed unique intervals so what time will they ring together again. So we can get the answer by taking LCM of all intervals easily. But my father made a chart for each bell and then I searched the time when they all rang together. I visualised whole solution so well that the concept of LCM also became clear. Relating the concept with real world is also very important.
So basically lack of
(b) basic concepts and
(c) a good teacher
Make maths a real nightmare.
For the senior school teaching the challenges are as follows:
Weak basic concepts
Making connections to real-world problems
Individual characteristics of the learner
Lack of regular practice
Language issue (In Some International Schools)
6. Which math is your favourite to teach and why?
I teach Pure Mathematics and Statistics for A-Level Students
7. Do you think students are more interested or learn better with technology? Do they prefer tabs over text books?
Technology can be a useful asset for changing learning. It can help certify and advance connections among teachers and students re-evaluate our ways to deal with learning and joint effort, shrink long-standing equity and accessibility gaps, and adapt learning experiences to meet the needs of all learners.
Our schools, community colleges, and universities should be incubators of exploration and invention. Educators should be collaborators in learning, seeking new knowledge and constantly acquiring new skills alongside their students. Education leaders should set a vision for creating learning experiences that provide the right tools and supports for all learners to thrive.
Advanced learning innovations can empower students to get a handle on ideas all the more rapidly and completely, to associate hypothesis and application all the more capably, and to engage in learning more readily, while also improving instructional techniques, leveraging instructor time, and facilitating the widespread sharing of knowledge. Digital technologies will enable this in new and better ways and create possibilities beyond the limits of our current imagination.
The new Education Technology can be used in following ways:
Bringing exciting curricula based on real-world problems into the classroom;
Providing scaffolds and new tools to enhance learning;
Giving students and teachers more open doors for input, reflection, and amendment;
Building local and worldwide networks that incorporate teachers, administrators, students, guardians, rehearsing researchers, and other intrigued individuals;
Expanding opportunities for teacher and learning.
The Impact of innovation on our learning environment is clear and huge. Our condition has experienced a total change under innovation. Everything identified with the examination will be electronic. We utilize numerous kinds of devices in the class just as in our homes to help us in the investigation of any subject. Innovation has made the adapting simple and fascinating. Computer plays an important role in this entire scenario. There are software’s to make real world experience virtually. We have mathematical, biological, and every field related software making progress fast and easy. The Internet provides us information quickly and according to the topic. The Impact of technology on student’s life is far reaching. Their study has become purpose oriented by different facilities to assist them finding the desired information at the time and according to the demand. Innovation has a great time component in the learning. Then again, with this office and associate, innovation has some negative effects on this condition. Particularly, understudy’s brains are diverted to media component and other negative sides of this felicity. Yet, these impacts can be diminished by making some dependable strides with respect to the utilization of the innovation and controlling our conduct towards it. The Learning condition has a splendid future if this pace of advancement props up on. In any case, this abandons saying that we should make ourselves and our kids mindful of the negative effects of innovation on the off chance that we are to see a more splendid tomorrow.
8. How does classroom assignments/projects impact learning? Is using Calculators in classroom justified?
Well,student’s formative assessment after certain level is mandatory, but the frequency of the assessment should be fixed or controlled carefully. Unnecessary or too much assessment always creates hindrance in academic process. In general a classroom assessment must be designed to evaluate the following:
Is subject matter covered?
Where are you trying to go?
Where are you now?
How can you get there?
However, the project based learning enhance the learning process, students learn new things, learn to share between the groups; in the process they master the subject matter.
Is Calculator in classroom justified?
We must ask one question to ourselves, Is computer is justified in today’s classroom learning? If yes; Calculators are justified for students as well. ………but……but……we have to decide from which level we introduce the use of calculator. In many European Boards including the CIE allows students to use calculator after the grade 8. …….I personally supports the use of calculator after a certain level.
9. According to the recent studies, girls are way too under-represented in Stem (science, technology, engineering and mathematics). In your view, what could be the reason?
Ingrained biases start at an early age and become even more pronounced as girls move through school and enter into the world of work. Girls are rarely encouraged to study math or science, and often internalize beliefs that boys are simply better in these fields.
One way to encourage girls is to use appropriate role models. As part of a campaign to coincide with today’s International Women’s Day, Speakezee, a platform that connects academics with non-academic audiences, is working with the Institute of Physics and the Girls’ School Association to send young female graduate Stem students into schools to talk to and inspire young teenage girls to consider pursuing Stem Subjects at higher level.
10. Your opinion on Olympiads/competitive exams? Are they boon or bane to children?
Personally, I do not support the idea of competitive exams or Olympiads at the adolescent age. But it is healthy to take part in the tournaments to enhance the knowledge and to test the capability of each individual. Competition in life is inevitable. One of the goals of our educational system should be to prepare students for life outside the classroom; therefore, competition should belong. It provides motivation, and shows areas in which the student may need to improve.
But it is important to note, competition shouldn’t be the exclusive goal of education, but a key component, because as a human being, we naturally thirst for knowledge. We do not need to compete against someone else for that desire. However, competition can be a healthy thing when it comes to learning. Using competition carefully can help to spur students to do more than they knew they were capable of. Otherwise competition often teaches young people that it is acceptable to behave aggressively, in a somewhat bullying way, as long as you achieve your goal and get what you want. It puts too much pressure on people, and the stress of it could cause them to just give up, if they think there’s no hope and everyone is passing them by. Because all students do not learn at the same rate or have the same skills, it can make other students feel inferior. People should be allowed to learn at their own pace, to absorb the knowledge, not just memorize it quickly and forget it or lose interest altogether because they can’t keep up. Learning should be confined to learning skills that enhance the quality of life, not make everything competitive.
11. In your words, what’s an ideal Maths department in an institution?
In my opinion, every department in any school should work with full cohesion to achieve the objective of the institution. Every teacher is unique and comes with an individual set of skills; a department head should utilize the individual skill of each teacher to achieve the desired results. Cooperation, teamwork and regular teachers training are the keys to achieve excellence in education. Teachers need to be given regular training opportunities in order to abreast with their contemporary world.
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