Is mathematics a growing concern for US schools?

December 22, 2016

As a subject, mathematics is popularly deemed as scary, difficult and taxing. The world of numbers, equations, theorems and graphs appear foreign and hostile to most students. And the beauty of the subject is rarely appreciated. The PISA (Program for International Student Assessment) scores for US schools in 2015 showed a decline in math scores which is worrisome. More than 50% of the participating nations ranked higher than US in this subject, and the US is lagging far behind Singapore, Japan and China. At a state level, Massachusetts performed better than the country’s average, but educators believe that this is not enough. So what should teachers and K-12 publishers do to improve the situation? Is simple classroom teaching sufficient for preparing students anymore?

Thanks to companies like Magic Software, mathematical content can be developed digitally in the form of games, videos and apps, which are very different from traditional classroom teaching. Unlike boring conventional lessons which make things harder for students, game-based learning in math has been found to be more effective.

  • These type of mathematical content offer students a stress-free environment to understand concepts and tackle problems.
  • Students enjoy the playful way they learn new ideas, without feeling pressurized to perform.
  • Each student can learn at his or her own pace, and clarify doubts wherever they get stuck. This is often not possible in a classroom.
  • Companies like Magic Software create content which take into account the learning outcomes you are looking for. Suitable assessments and quizzes can also be created with their help.
  • Math content based on games, videos or simulations are challenging, encourages the learner to think and apply key concepts, and come up with solutions in more than one way.
  • Innovative digital math lessons also keep students engaged and motivated, offering them “rewards” for accomplishments.
  • With game-based math lessons, students can also practice as much as they need and from anywhere and at anytime. These are available both online and offline.

So it is not hard to see that it is time for mathematics to be taught and learned in a whole new way. Providing individual attention to students in a classroom is naturally difficult, but digital math content can become a personal coach for the learner. Learning math comfortably, sensibly and in an interesting way can make US students more proficient in the subject and score better as well.