The Transforming power of Mathematics

Chancellor’s Message: Research Day 2015

It is only appropriate that Research Day at the Mico University College 2015 should honour Professor Claude Packer by focusing on the Theme “The Transforming Power of Mathematics in National Development.” Professor Packer has not only been a great teacher of Mathematics, to whom many students at all levels of the education system are deeply indebted, but he has also been a great advocate and champion of the subject.

A common saying is that arithmetic is to mathematics as the alphabet and spelling are to writing. Arithmetic is about calculations involving addition, subtraction, multiplication, division and sometimes square roots. Mathematics is about taking signs, symbols, numbers, and shapes to describe and explain relationships and to formulate abstract theories. Continue reading

The Teacher

CHANCELLOR’S MESSAGE: RESEARCH DAY 2014

Research Day 2014, as the Call for Paper states, is to provide an opportunity for the sharing of ideas, reflections, and praxis concerning the ‘Teacher’ in the maelstrom of contemporary events. The theme is of the ‘Teacher’ organized around four sub-themes: Conceptualizing the Teacher: What New? Effective Pedagogy and Andragogy for the 21st century; Identifying and Managing Disabling Conditions in the Classroom and Social Responsibility and Professionalism. This is, indeed, a very wide and inclusive mandate which gives scope to participants to situate themselves comfortably at some location within the framework. Continue reading

New Minds

Chancellor’s Message: Research Day 2010

“New Minds” Education for 2020 Leadership is a stimulating Theme which I am sure will generate great discussion and hopefully fruitful action. Allow me to mention one aspect of ‘new minds’, the issue of mindset. Mindset refers to mentality, psyche, outlook, and ways on understanding, interpreting and responding to situations. Research in psychology is increasingly showing that mindset is a critical factor in success in several areas.

Research literature has been developing around the millionaire mindset, the warrior mindset, the victim mindset, the fixed mindset and the growth mindset. One of the leaders in research on mindset is Professor Carol Dweck of Stanford University.  Dweck reports that her research found that what children think about their intelligence is more important in determining success in school than their actual scores on IQ tests. Students could be grouped into two basic categories. Those who believed that their intelligence was fixed, that is, that they were bright or dumb and that there was little that they could do about it and those who believed that they could learn and improve if they worked hard. Continue reading