Connecting students’ learning of mathematics to their daily life experiences in Gilgit-Baltistan
Date of Award
Master of Education (M. Ed.)
Professional Development Centre, Karachi
Mathematics has always been an important subject for every student because of its extensive application in the day-to-day life. Despite its importance and application in daily life, the teaching and learning of mathematics in primary schools is mostly textbook based that does not allow students to a see connection between their learning of mathematics in classroom and its use in their day-to-day activities or their careers. As a result, students perceive mathematics as a worthless subject with no use in their daily life. Thus, it is felt that there is a genuine need to study this issue in order to develop a positive image of mathematics as a practical and worthwhile subject. Therefore, I conducted this qualitative case study on 'how Grade 4 mathematics teachers connect students' learning of mathematics to their daily life experiences in public sector primary schools in Gilgit-Baltistan. Using qualitative case study method, data was collected through semi-structured interviews, classroom observations and document analysis. Research participants included two mathematics teachers from two public sector schools of Gilgit-Baltistan that have been developed as project schools by the Aus-Aid funded project,"Education Development and Improvement Programme". Implemented by the Professional Development Centre (North) of Aga Khan University Institute for Educational Development (PDCN-AKU-IED). The findings of the study revealed that connecting the teaching and learning of mathematics to students' daily life stimulates students' thinking, motivates and develops curiosity to recognize mathematics in their surroundings and to apply their learning of mathematics to day to day activities. It was also found that the teaching of mathematics through practical examples from the local context develops in students a positive attitude towards mathematics and its learning. As a result, the students' image of mathematics changes from being a dry and abstract subject to an interesting, practical, and worthwhile subject. Another finding of the study is that teaching mathematics through connecting it to students' daily life experience requires the teacher to have strong knowledge of mathematical concepts, innovative pedagogical skills and understanding of mathematics used in the local context. The study revealed that the textbooks used in schools, the examination system and the teachers' lack of content knowledge and pedagogical skills greatly influence students' learning, conceptual understanding and application of mathematics. Based on the findings, the study draws a number of conclusions having implications for mathematics teachers, schools, education department, and teacher education institutions.
Sultana, M. (2015). Connecting students’ learning of mathematics to their daily life experiences in Gilgit-Baltistan (Unpublished master's dissertation). Aga Khan University, Karachi, Pakistan.