Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Making Sense Out of Mathematics

When I got to my Math class this morning to take my comprehensive final, my teacher met me outside the door. He pulled me aside and told me that I was exempted from the final because he felt confident that I had developed my math skills well and knew that material well. I have made A’s on all the tests, turned in all my homework, participated in class, helped others, participated in study groups, and taken the class very seriously. I tend to take all my classes seriously as I am concerned more with learning than I am grades.

Anyway, it was a nice gesture and I accepted his offer graciously. He has been one of my favorite teachers. I had him last semester for a previous math class and took him again this semester. He’s that good, not that any of the youngsters appreciate his genius. Rather than just mindlessly having us memorize equations and algorithms, this teacher focuses on conceptual knowledge – true understanding of the material. For the first time in my life I have finally started to understand mathematics.

Most college kids don’t want to work that hard, and this professor has a reputation of being very hard and very picky. He’s also very dedicated to making sure we actually think, rather than just memorize facts that we are likely to forget after the test. I am less likely to forget my material because of his teaching philosophy.

It’s great to learn, really learn.

No comments: