‘My students were like, ‘You know, I’m not the best person to talk to’: Teachers explain why they teach math
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Teachers from the University of Queensland have been discussing the merits of teaching math as an elective at their preparatory mathematics classes.
While there are a number of ways to teach math, many teachers, including those at the University, feel that a traditional elective can provide the best learning experience for students.
“We have a very high demand for electives, so there are going to be many students who need electives,” said Professor Stephen Haines.
Professor Hain, who teaches mathematics at the university, said students who were offered electives often chose not to take them because they felt they were not the right fit for their career.
He said some students would choose to study an electivies other than the traditional electives.
But for some students, such as those at his institution, electives were more important than their courses.
At the University’s Maths Preparatory Course, Professor Hain is teaching students the fundamentals of arithmetic.
His students are all from Queensland and they have had to adapt to their new country.
They have had a very hard time, he said.
This is the first year that we have had no classes with students from the United States and Germany, he added.
I am trying to keep them in their own world and they are learning math in their country, he explained.
However, Professor Gary Smith from the Queensland University of Technology said he thought there were better options.
It is really difficult for students from overseas to go to Queensland and study here because of the high cost, he argued.
The school has offered two courses with international students in the past, he pointed out.
If we could get the cost down, we would be happy to take that in.
Dr Smith said the University had a lot of students from China who wanted to study mathematics, but the cost was high.
A number of international students at the school are students from Russia, South Africa and other countries, he noted.
Students who want to study maths at the pre-school level are also encouraged to study abroad, he suggested.
What we see in our students is that they are doing well and they feel confident that they will be able to progress in mathematics in Australia, he told ABC Radio Brisbane.
In some cases, he also noted that some students from different countries are in the same class and doing the same things.
Some international students may be better suited to take courses at the universities, he agreed.
When the international students arrive at the Pre-school they are asked to fill out forms, which is then reviewed and approved by the school’s maths and science department.
Professor Hains said he was happy that the international group was in the process of improving its maths knowledge, so it was good to see that there was a wider community coming together.
There are people who are learning, but there are people that are still learning,” he said, adding that the prerequisites of the maths class were also improving.
All of the students, he confirmed, are happy to be part of the university.
Mr Smith said he hoped the new courses would provide the next generation of Australian students with the chance to learn from their elders.
ABC Brisbane’s Julie McNeil contributed to this story.
Teachers from the University of Queensland have been discussing the merits of teaching math as an elective at their preparatory…