Teaching math concepts to children and teenagers, is there a difference? | Salsabilatuzzahra Jaha S.Psi. from BehaviorPALS Center| Kinderkloud

Teaching math concepts to children and teenagers, is there a difference?

mathematic numbers

Mathematics is an important subject for children all over the world. Mathematics lessons have been taught from childhood to college. Seeing the relationship between mathematics and our education, it can be interpreted that mathematics has an important role. However, the stigma of society mostly considers mathematics as a threat and even an enemy that must be avoided. This is one of the challenges for teachers or parents who want to teach mathematics. Then, to teach math concepts to children, what should we do?


Before teaching mathematics, it is necessary to understand the development of children and what children need in their development. Even though the material and teaching curriculum has been adjusted to the developmental phase, sometimes the important thing that is often overlooked is knowing the age characteristics of the child so that we can know how to convey the material. At school, children will experience a developmental phase from childhood to adolescence. Actually is there any significant difference in the two phases? In this article, we will describe the characteristics and the best things to do to teach mathematics at this phase.

Characteristics of the Children's Phase

  • We can categorize the childhood phase in kindergarten through elementary school students. In this phase, children already have spontaneity and an implicit interest in mathematics. For example, when children play with blocks or lego. They will make Towers, expand the pattern of the blocks, and also observe the symmetrical pattern of the blocks. They will also compare which tower beam is taller. Here, we can conclude that it turns out that from the phase children already have a tendency to like mathematical concepts. This is where the importance of "natural" settings, to continue to maintain children's interest in learning mathematics. For this reason, a good setting in this phase is to present lots of fun games or quizzes that contain elements of mathematics.
  • Keep in mind that children have both concrete and abstract mindsets. For example, they can add 3 pencils in addition but they also have abstract ideas such as rules for adding different types of objects. Although the development of children's abstract thinking begins to develop, in practice, to teach children, concrete examples are needed so that they can understand and adjust their development.
  • Children's mathematical knowledge shows understanding but there are misunderstandings. Although children seem to be able to do the concepts of addition and subtraction, they are still not able to realize the difference in length in shapes. Like not being able to distinguish the types of triangles (eg, an extremely elongated, non-right-angle, skinny triangle).

Characteristics of the Adolescent

  • Phase The adolescent phase can be categorized when a child enters high school. In this phase, adolescents experience the development of identity, moral, social with their environment. At this stage the child can be very challenging. Especially in a classroom setting because the aspect of social acceptance by their peers is the most important. In this phase, adolescents tend to want to avoid shame and tend to want to have popularity (Van Hoose, Strahan, and L'Esperance, 2001). Then it will be less effective if you use a forward strategy to complete the task. Because if they couldn't, they would feel humiliated. It is important to build a sense of security both physically and emotionally, children will be able to explore further to connect with others and can be engaged in challenging academic tasks.
  • Mathematics teachers should strive to increase student engagement. This can be realized through discussion forums that will involve students. This is done to improve communication and social interaction between students. The discussion method can also help students become better, they will think more complexly and creatively. So they will combine mathematics with everyday life.

From the explanation above, we can see that differences in the characteristics of children's ages also affect the way teachers teach math concepts. Of course it would not be good if we force young children to be able to higher and abstract concepts such as logarithms. And of course it would also be very good to teach students in their teenage phase through a friend approach. Bringing a lot of interaction with friends and most importantly instilling good communication between teachers and students. This needs to be done in order to create maximum mathematics learning.

By Salsabilatuzzahra Jaha from BehaviorPALS Center


Source:

Bennett, CA (2010). “It's Hard Getting Kids to Talk about Math”: Helping New Teachers Improve Mathematical Discourse. Action in teacher education, 32(3), 79-89.

Lewis Presser, A., Clements, M., Ginsburg, H., & Ertle, B. (2015). Big math for little kids: The effectiveness of a preschool and kindergarten mathematics curriculum. Early education and development, 26(3), 399-426.

Strahan, D., Jones, J., & White, M. (2022). Teaching Well with Adolescent Learners: Responding to Developmental Changes in Middle School and High School. Taylor & Francis.

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Children 4 Years - 6 Years / 4 Tahun - 6 Tahun / Counting / Berhitung / Education / Pendidikan / Teaching math concepts to children and teenagers, is there a difference?

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