This is an article written by Oscar H. Salinas, Martha E. Luna and Angela Estrada Arteaga. It basically describes the process of developing mathematical literacy by learning the basic concepts in Mathematics and applying concepts learnt in the development of essential software that can be used as an academic tool. In this review I will show how the author shows how we can develop our mathematical literacy basing it on elementary software and developing academic tools. This is very relevant as it enhances education and defines its purpose thus an important piece to society.
Summary and Discussions
The report starts of by acknowledging how difficult math is to teach. This is as a result of the perception the public has on it. Most of them see it as a very difficult subject which is a preserve of the intelligent few in society. Nonetheless, instructors really struggle to teach it there main objectives being mathematizing reasoning, exploration and communication. When such knowledge is taught and students integrate it then according to the model of competency, they should be able to apply knowledge gained in designing and developing their own academic tools example being the development of calculators. Oscar H. Salinas (2013) states that through this they are able to properly fit in the context of Mathematics and even teach it to others in the future.
After this part the author moves to the methodology of achieving the set goals. He uses a four step process in doing this. The first step is getting theoretical concepts in class. This is usually done in school where students take an interest in understanding the course material and the theories that have been researched on before. The second step is using calculus to set up a relevant worksheet. They implement the knowledge of matrices here adhering to its standards and expectations. After that step they move to the third step which is the use of any software available. Here they are able to learn possible applications thereby designing and developing academic tools which might be of benefit at this time or in the time to come. This step allows them correct any anomalies and provides ground for correcting errors in case there are any. After everything is confirmed then the development of one owns didactic tools can commence.
The report therefore shows how these steps were applied in the development of a simple but basic matrix calculator. This is done by rudimentary operations of matrix encompassing the use of open sources of software which can also be commercial. The calculator is developed on a java platform which integrates concepts of mathematics and skills of developing software. They develop their own academic tool which is the calculator. Oscar H. Salinas (2013) therefore shows that the report conclusively demonstrates how one develops mathematical literacy by elementary software and academics tool development.
What I find interesting and completely fascinating is how one can use the skills learnt in class in the creation of a calculator. Am more encouraged to take a keener interest in mathematics as I see the opportunity it gives to individuals. There is a very high probability of success if one stays loyal to the process. Innovation and creativity can only be sustained through proper understanding and application of mathematical knowledge. The article was not an easy read though. What I found infuriating was the whole deficiency of proper organization of paragraphs and the numerous grammatical errors. It makes it problematic to go through the report and this might be evaded if only the writers felt the need to proof read the work. Otherwise, it is an interesting report that raises awareness about the importance of Mathematics and how well it can be applied in society.
The agenda of this is showing how relevant mathematics is in developing some of the basic software and tools that currently exist in our society. The author uses vivid examples of mathematical concepts to show how traditionally they have been used in innovating the essential software and machines that make our current activities easier and achievable in a faster means. The author is obviously biased towards the mathematical approach. This is so because he attributes every process to the role math plays in it. He commits a fallacy of omission where he doesn’t recognize what other subjects play in the development of this software. A role is played by physics, computer studies and even English. To create software physics is needed as it gives guidelines on how systems connect and function electronically. Computer studies gives knowledge on programming, a very essential element in software creation. In designing this software the language used is English. This is the universal language used in writing software so as to ensure those implementing it completely comprehend it. It would be nice if these subjects were also recognized as they play a very important role in software creation.
This report is very relevant basing it on the current studies that have been done on the same subject matter. Similar studies on the same subject matter also suggest that there is a need of taking a more practical approach on Mathematics and to make it as relevant as possible so as to better enhance how problems are solved in the society. Most of these studies though, emphasize on how to make the subject more likable by students. Gilliland (2002) recognizes that students are more receptive towards Math and don’t really like partaking in its learning. They view it as an abstract subject which is just difficult for no apparent reason but lacking the proper applicability in our current society. An approach towards Math as a tool for problem solving can alleviate this feeling. The mathematical process and thinking should be aligned with numerous problem-solving models. This supports the report in question since Woolley (1998) acknowledges that Mathematics should always target issues and better the society we live in.
This article is both a specialized article and also a general article. This is because the target audience are those who are doing Mathematics. It implores on them to use their knowledge in improving the society. It is also general as it targets every student to do Mathematics as it offers a proper tool for creativity and innovation. It is an important overview to all student showing how mathematics literacy can be developed.
- GILLILAND, K., 2002. Calculators in the classroom.. In: Mathematics Teaching in the Middle School. s.l.:s.n., pp. 150-151.
- OSCAR H. SALINAS, A. E. A. M. E. L., 2013. Developing Mathematical Literacy, Based on Elemental Software and Academic Tools Development. [Online]
Available at: http://www.scirp.org/journal/ce
[Accessed 19 May 2014].
- WOOLLEY, G., 1998. In Thailand: Connecting technology and learning. In: Educational Leadership. s.l.:s.n., pp. 61-65.