During March of 2011 team10.02 at frederiksberg seminary, were given a special assignment.. The subject given was "math witouth words". Which roughly means teaching math without using words. Thinking "outside the box" is essential.
We worked with fellow students from Holland, whom we later visited. The purpose of the trip was to test and carry out the assignment on dutch pupils. We were divided into mixed workgroups that consisted of both Dutch and Danish students.
Each workgroup discussed ways in which one could teach pupils math without words. An interesting observation was that all of the groups started discussing the subject instead of trying to work without words, hence “math without words”.
The project was to be tested in Holland. Therefore it was necessary to gain an understanding of the differences between the Dutch and Danish school system. The primary goal of the Dutch teaching system vs. the Danish teaching system is very different. The focus of the Dutch students is on the end result. Whereas the Danish students main focus is on the method and process of reaching the end result. The focus of the Dutch is the "end justifies the means", while the Danish population's focus is on the process.
The Danish students started studying in August 2010, and were given the task to define “what mathematics is”. A common perception is that mathematics always has an answer or end result. The general thought is that Mathematics only works with a pen and paper!
Our perception of mathmatics has changed enormously over the past year. Math is more than numbers and end results. Math is about understanding and identifying the problem at hand. Our experience showed that out own perception of math before we started studiyng was very close to the Ducth perception.
This resulted in some good discussion about what mathematic is and how it should be understood.
Written by: Martin Haastrup, Mette Olsen, Lene Dons.