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Applying TGS’s core values to math (part one)

To begin the 2014-15 school year, IB mathematics teacher Guillermo Machado asked his 11th grade students to consider THINK Global School’s seven values and how they relate to math. He then asked them to answer the following two questions:

  • How do they help us as mathematics learners?
  • How can mathematics help us with the development and practice of these values?

One of his students, Fatima, went above and beyond, mixing humor and media into her well-thought-out responses. You can view her work below:

 

Meraki (Greek)

Put all of yourself – your soul, creativity and love – into your work.

Math is very painful for people like myself, people who tend to put a barrier between themselves and the subject. While doing math, you need to be open-minded, give it 100% of your effort, and learn to love it. Deep down, and I know this for sure, even though math and I have always had a love/hate relationship, it develops your creativity. It opens your mind into thinking beyond the limits. Meraki is a value that we should keep close to our minds, heads, and hearts while doing Aleks -aka painful math- because it is going to ease the neurological mathematical pain. As a matter of fact, mathematics also plays a role in the development and practice of this TGS core value.

In other words, Meraki

Satya (Sanskrit)

Live truth – in a way that is honest, steadfast and uplifting to others

Math sometimes gets challenging and tricky. As humans, we tend to let our emotions and feelings take over. While some us may have exuberant personality traits, others can be quite timid and hesitate to seek help. You have to be honest while doing math; it’s okay if your emotions take over and you look like you’re going to cry, but if you don’t understand something you have to say it. In the end, you are in that classroom to learn and make mistakes. Don’t be afraid to look like a fool in front a few stinky teenagers. Nobody will judge, as we’re all here to lift each other’s spirits. The experience that we all acquire through math classes helps us to develop as well as practice satya.

In other words, Satya

求知欲 Qiú Zhi Yù (Mandarin)

Thirst for knowledge – be open, be curious and challenge assumptions.

 

 

The purpose of math is to explain the unexplainable, to go beyond common sense and feed our curiosity by revealing hidden truths about the universe. Although this explanation of math falls more onto the category of real mathematicians, students also have a purpose for studying this subject, and perhaps expanding on previous discoveries. Problem solving, for instance, leads to exploring new mathematical horizons and being challenged. Just have an open attitude as a student, don’t shut out mathematics just because it’s difficult (I can’t believe this is coming out of my mouth – I can only imagine your reaction, Mr. Machado!). Try hard, and as the Japanese always say, “fall down seven times and get up eight.”

 

Empathy

Treat others with understanding, compassion and respect.

 

Math is not everybody’s cup of tea! While some us love it, others hate it and just don’t get it. Be considerate — don’t make fun of other students, as we are all here to learn. If you can offer help, do it, but don’t go telling everyone that a student is a stupid and struggling in math. Put yourself in that other person’s shoes. Take the time to think about their feeling and dignity. If there’s anything you can do, then go for it! Keep the sass for yourself and the drama for your mama!

Continue to part two

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It all starts here.

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