Picture this scenario. It's an early winter morning and a class of highschool students are seated on their desks with pencils clutched in hand. As the teacher walks around distributing question papers, their hearts are beating faster than a war drum. It's exam day for them.
If we were to take a poll guessing the subject they were being quizzed on, the answer would be as you have probably guessed -- math. This kind of status quo is the world a few revolutionaries have stepped up to change.
Introducing Dr. Maria Droujkova
She aims to revolutionise the academic world through her brainchild, Natural Math; a network of parents, teachers, and authors whose goal is to help people make their own useful and joyful math experiences. However, given the cynicism most adults have regarding calculus, this subject begs a deeper look -- is this task even feasible?
Is a five-year old capable of understanding calculus concepts?
She also highlights that, generally, children are forced to do difficult calculations that could be tantamount to torture. Institutions often miss the crucial point -- that calculus has very little to do with manipulation of numbers, but more to do with patterns and structures.
Droujkova states that the challenge with calculus lies not in its complexity, but in the way it’s taught. By dropping the formal training we've been drilled to accept and portraying calculus in a positive, light-hearted, pattern-riddled manner, every child is capable of grasping its concepts.
Now that we have established that it's possible, we switch to a more ethical question. Just because we can, does it mean we should?
Should you teach calculus to your child?
To answer this, we bring you back to our opening scenario, and the lifetime implications it holds. Getting children comfortable with certain topics at a young age, removes the stigma surrounding such things as they grow older. The math grief that exists so dominantly can be removed by educating children about such concepts in a playful environment. It's important that as parents, we don't let our own misgivings pollute what could be the bright futures for our next generation.
Dr. Maria's mission has become to revolutionise how calculus is taught , and how to package it in a way that's accessible to all. Given her easy-to-learn methods, from our point of view, we conclusively agree with her vision for a calculus child-friendly world.