Community Mathematics

Community Mathematics Syllabus and Study Material

After knowing what Mathematics is, it is proper to answer the questions like why should everybody learn Mathematics? What is the advantage of doing so much labour in learning Mathematics? The answer to all such questions lies in the knowledge of the utility or values of teaching Mathematics?

Mathematics is subject of great social importance. It helps in proper organisation and maintenance of our social structure. Society is the result of the union of individuals. It needs various laws, mores and traditions for its perpetuation. Mathematics helps not only in the formation of laws but also in their compliance. In fact the harmony, law and order and dynamicity prevailed in our society are all because of Mathematics. The world transaction, exchange, commercial trade and business depend on Mathematics. The means of transport, communication and the so many scientific inventions and discoveries that have knitted the world into a family owe their existence to Mathematics.

Moreover, one can lead a normal social life only when he is able to adjust himself in the existing social set-up. Today our social set-up-or social existence is totally governed by the scientific and technological knowledge which can only be attained by the study of Mathematics. In fact the ignorance about Mathematics is the stumbling block in the progress of a nation or society. History of Mathematics openly reveals that whenever a country has given due weightage to the teaching of Mathematics it has made a tremendous progress. It is in disconnection that great Napoleon once said, “The progress and the improvement of Mathematics are linked with the prosperity of the State.”

In this way Mathematics has been a pioneer not only in adjusting with the progress of the society but also in the advancement of the society. Whatever is seen in the name of the progress and development in the world is all due to Mathematics. The journey to the moon has been only possible through the concrete principles of Mathematics. In brief what we are enjoying in our social set-up and planning to get in future is based on the study and knowledge of Mathematics.

By culture of a nation or society we mean the mode of living of its inhabitants. The culture is reflected through how they live, behave, eat, drink and maintain their social relationship. The scientific discoveries, which owe their roots in Mathematics, are to a great extent, responsible for bringing changes in the mode of living and thereby the culture has been continuously influenced by the progress and improvement of Mathematics. Hogben says, “Mathematics is the mirror of “civilization.” The history of Mathematics portrays civilization and culture of different countries at different periods. The greatness of Indian culture is once reflected through the glory of Indian Mathematics of olden days. Similarly, having come to know the progress of Egyptians and Greeks in Mathematics one can be aware of their progress in culture and civilization.

Mathematics does not only acquaint us with the culture an civilization but it also helps in its preservation, promotion and transmission to the coming generation. Our life is too short to discover by ourselves all the knowledge we need to lead our life. We have to take the help of others in getting this knowledge. Books are the chief sources of acquainting us with the past achievements of one’s race, culture of humanity at large. Mathematics books are no exceptions. They also contain valuable treasure of our culture that can only be known by lying emphasis on Mathematics teaching. In this way important aspects of our culture can only be preserved through Mathematical teaching. Further, after knowing what our ancestors have done we as students of ‘Mathematics’ bring new ideas in the body of Mathematical knowledge and thus increase our cultural heritage. This heritage is passed to the younger generation through the teaching of Mathematics in the hope that they will preserve promote and transmit it further to the coming generation.

Mathematics plays an important role in the organisation and maintenance of our social structure. Society is the result of the inter-relations of individuals. It consists of big and small groups and there are sub-groups within each group. Mathematics enables us to understand the inter-relations of individuals and the possibilities of various groups.

Society is a phenomena of balancing and counter-balancing of various social forces. Mathematics helps in creating a social order in this phenomena. It regulates the functioning of society in many ways. Social conditions like justice, fairplay, healthy competition, symmetry, harmony, etc. have often to be described in mathematical terms for the purpose of clarity.

For smooth transactions, exchange, trade, business and bargaining, mathematics becomes a useful tool. It has its own role to play in the development of means of communication. It has helped in knitting the vast society into a family. When the dealings between individuals are given a mathematical touch, it leads to social progress, prosperity and welfare.
History of mathematics reveals that whenever a society gave due weigh-tage to the knowledge of mathematics, it made a tremendous progress. When mathematics make its contribution in the advancement of science and technology, society draws huge benefits. Its contribution is evident in the fields of atomic energy, space research, space travel, and man-made satellites.

The harnessing of social resources can best be done by mathematical and scientific approach.
Mathematics helps in the formation of social norms and their implementation. The dominance of materialistic outlook in our society is one of the chief attributes of mathematics. Our monetary dealings are a major domain of our social dealings and relations. We earn a social status by virtue of our economic status and behaviour. The social status is governed by our property, income, bank balance and economic potential. Social security is bound to imply economic security.

The ideas like manpower planning have originated party due to the influence of mathematics. The statistical data and the census provides bases for short-term and long range planning for the welfare of the society.

Correlation of Mathematics with Other Aspects of Life

Mathematics is not confined to the classroom or school only. Its utility is very comprehensive and wide. It has an important bearing on various aspects of life beyond the school. Therefore, it is desirable at the part of the teacher to make the references regarding its use in actual life, while teaching the mathematics. The students should be explained the utilitarian and cultural values of mathematics in practical life.
To highlight the importance of mathematics in other fields of life, a teacher should always make an effort to explain to the students the practical application of the mathematical knowledge. He may show big industries, dams, bridges, prominent building, electrical installations etc and explain to the students that all this has been made possible with the help of mathematics. In this way, a good experience may be provided to the students about the utility of mathematics in actual life. Thus the correlation of mathematics with other aspects of human life can be expressed and explained while teaching the different topics of mathematics.

Evaluation Through Formal and Informal Methods

Evaluation is defined as a process of collecting evidences of behavioural changes and judging the directions and extents of such changes. This means that evaluation is free neither from instructional objectives nor from the teaching learning. In fact, it is intimately related to objectives and learning activities on the one hand, and improvement of instructions on the other.

Teaching Learning Process and Evaluation

Selection of the Appropriate Evaluation Technique

The decision about adopting a particular evolution technique or combination of techniques depends upon so many factors like:

  • objective or objectives of the teaching-learning
  • Contents or the learning experiences provided to the learner.
  • The methodology and strategies adopted for carrying out the process teaching-learning.
  • The behavioural domain, cognitive, conative or affective in which behaviour: changes are to be measured or assessed.
  • The purposes like diagnostic, formative or summative or providing information, feedback, incentive etc. served by the evaluation.
  • Emphasis on mastery learning, acquisition of required level of performance reliable comparability and grading etc.
  • The level, memory, understanding and reflective of the organisation of teaching-learning.
  • The nature of the evaluation technique or techniques suitable for serving particular or required purposes.

Evaluation Technique for cognitive domain

Domain Level Evaluation Techniques Best Suitable
Knowledge Oral tests, written tests (short answer type, completion, multiple choice, Matching and simple recall type) observations of verbal behaviour, Conversations etc.
Comprehension Observations of student conversations, discourse, written test (true-false, short Answer and multiple choice) students work projects and assignments.
Application Observations of student’s work projects and products. Oral or written problem Solving, written tests (Multiple choice tests, testing ability to apply the knowledge)
Analysis Observation of students assignments and projects written tests (Essay type, Multiple choice items requiring analysing capacities)
Synthesis Oral or written problem solving, written tests (Essay type) students assignment, Project or productive work

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