Education

Reclaiming The Lost Heritage Of Indian Mathematics With Gaurav Tekriwal

 

Fear of maths? Worry no more! Vedic Maths Guru Gaurav Tekriwal has the answer to solving every maths problem under the sun. With his books, ‘Maths Sutras from around the World’ and ‘ Maths Sutra – The Art of Indian Speed Calculation’, published by Penguin Random House and Speed Calculation, both books have been gaining repute globally. The author and educator has successfully taken the age-old Vedic Maths System to over 4 million students.

Gaurav Tekriwal, the Founder-President of Vedic Maths Forum India has been teaching High-Speed Vedic Mental Mathematics skills over the past fifteen years, introducing students to the world’s fastest mental maths system. 

We spoke with Gaurav Tekriwal.

What is the inspiration that led to writing Maths Sutra – The Art of Indian Speed Calculation?

Well, Maths Sutra was written and published in 2015, when I was deep in practicing and teaching Vedic Mathematics. I wanted to share the methods of Vedic Mathematics, my experience and my message in a simplified manner to students everywhere. The available books at the time were very difficult to follow by students as it had layers of meanings and in old school English.

So, I improvised a bit by introducing illustrations, step-by-step solved examples and customised it for students in schools and those appearing for competitive examinations.

I also worked on the presentation of the formulas or sutras so that it could be understood by the common man.

 

Why, in your observation, do students dislike/fear maths? What are the main mistakes that students make in their approach to studying maths?

Students in my opinion dislike Maths because it is taught to them in a difficult way. The number one problem is communication. A Student at an early age is given abstract names and definitions and taught in a dull and boring way – so they lose interest. Mathematics Education everywhere is going by the rules set hundreds of years ago.

Students can’t relate to it and they find Maths distasteful. Imagine being asked to remember your ‘Multiplication Tables’ when you are seven or eight years old. Can a child relate to it? What would he understand? The problem gets worse when he is asked to do ‘Calculus’ or ‘Trigonometry’ as he grows up!

Main Mistakes which I feel is:

#1Maths and Memory: Most of the students just deal with Maths without any understanding. They rote learn formulas and once there is a twist in the problem given – they fail miserably in solving them. Memorization is important but that’s only a small part of Maths!

#2 Maths and Mistakes: You see students are not prepared to fail in the beginning. They get frustrated when they make errors early on in school in Maths. They cut corners when they are asked to study Maths and these days even getting them to concentrate is difficult because of lack of attention span and too many distractions. It’s difficult to make them realise that you taste success only after meeting successive failures or challenges.

Could you share a specific story or example of a student’s engagement with Vedic maths?

Certainly! For our reviews by students and parents, please do the following:

#1 On Google:

  • Search Google for ‘Vedic Maths India’
  • On the right hand side you can see we have over 361 Google reviews now. You can click to see them all.

#2 On our website www.vedicmathsindia.org you would find many Live testimonials in the footer.

#3 On Udemy go to www.udemy.com/vedicmaths/   Our course is the best seller with over 2345 ratings and reviews testimonials.

#4 For some more testimonials and comments check the comment section of this TED New York video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=grkWGeqW99c&t=457s

 What would be your suggestions to teachers in India to create interest in maths in the classroom, especially among students who fear the subject?

I have few recommendations for teachers in India to make Maths fun and Interesting in the classroom.

#1 Learn Vedic Maths: Teachers to understand that a Maths problem can be solved by many methods and not just one set method. Promote discovery and research in class. Make it interactive and project based.

#2 Use Maths Manipulatives: Maths teachers can use Maths Manipulatives, props and many other games available to make Maths Classes fun. For example if you are teaching them say mensuration – you can show how the area of a cylinder is calculated by giving them a dummy coke can which is cylindrical in shape.

#3 Use Technology:Teachers understand you are dealing with Gen Z here (who are born after 1997) and they have a better grasp over technology. You gotta make them learn Maths using innovative tools/websites/apps etc out there. Not only will they understand the concept better but they will thankyou as well. Give them online assignments and projects.

#4 Skype Community: Invite Teachers and Students from other countries to you classroom – online via Skype Classrooms. Skype in the Classroom is an online community that connects educators, experts, and students through global learning and collaboration activities using Skype communication software. Featured activities include Virtual Field Trips, Mystery Skype, Skype Lessons, Guest Speakers, and Skype Collaborations.

#5 Discuss Maths based Books, Movies, Websites and Apps: Form a Maths Club in School to create interest in Maths. Have regular discussions on Maths based books , movies ( Like Shakuntala Devi or The Beautiful Mind), websites ( The Khan Academy) or even Apps ( like GeoGebra) etc.

#6 Maths based Quiz: Give your students a competition in Maths. Make it a Quarterly Quiz. Students would like to express their learnings in Maths via questions and applications and also get to win rewards which will motivate them further to do well in Maths in School and in life (Maths Olympiads and Rubik’s Cube Competitions etc)

STEM education in India is the much-needed revolution in the education industry that has the potential to reshape the child’s future. Do you agree with it?

Absolutely! I am in 100% agreement with it. Technology is surely the future we are heading towards and STEM as a policy and curriculum is important for all students. Students should be exposed to it as a life skill. They should be taught coding, robotics, computing skills etc. STEM graduates have been contributing to the national economy in a big way.

The pandemic has led to home teaching of millions of kids around the globe and online education platforms are playing a major role in this. What is the future of online educational platforms especially in context of India?

India had about 50 million internet users in 2010.In 2020, India had over 749 million internet users.Close to 640 million people still don’t have internet access. This spells as a big opportunity for online educational platforms,edtechstartups in India as well as online teachers who are given employment by these platforms.

Online Educational Platforms are currently witnessing unprecedented tailwinds in support of their business thanks to COVID. The future surely is neon bright for these platforms. Students are being exposed to technology early on and they will surely adapt and embrace the change. In the context of India, a majority of students in private and government schools have been given devices to have access to online education.

 

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