Original Research

Learning mathematics for personal understanding  and productions: A viewpoint 

David Mtetwa, Lazarus Mudehwe, Sheunesu Munyira
Pythagoras | Issue 72 | a57 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/pythagoras.v0i72.57 | © 2010 David Mtetwa, Lazarus Mudehwe, Sheunesu Munyira | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 28 September 2010 | Published: 28 September 2010

About the author(s)

David Mtetwa, Department of Science and Mathematics, Education University of Zimbabwe, Zimbabwe
Lazarus Mudehwe, Department of Science and Mathematics, Education University of Zimbabwe
Sheunesu Munyira, Department of Science and Mathematics, Education University of Zimbabwe

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In this paper we reflect on what makes mathematics more meaningful and more easily understood and thus enabling the learner to apply it to everyday situations in his/her life world. We identify personal – in relation to ‘collective’ or ‘public’ – mathematising as one key component towards real understanding of mathematics. We observe that today’s mathematics learner is often typified by such orientations as approaching the subject with timidity and in a cookbook fashion, adopting a re‐productive rather than a productive mode, and showing lack of intrinsic interest in the subject. Debilitating effects of some of these characteristics in relation to learning mathematics for personal development, include learner’s failure to exploit the subject’s natural features for developing own mental orientations such as algorithmic, stochastic, reflective, and creative thinking so essential in coping with modern life environments. We propose that, for inspirational effects, learners should have closer contact with and appreciation for the activities and practices of the professional mathematician. The mathematics teacher could enhance the learner’s mathematical learning experience by orienting instructional designs in ways that make the learning processes and outcomes more personal to the learner.




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