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Language, Game and Number. An Investigative Approach to Mathematics in Primary School

George Hunt


The particular qualities of language conventions used in mathematics are a frequent cause of difficulties for students in learning and understanding mathematics. A traditional approach to teaching mathematics is far from everyday communication and requires a specific, highly systematized and standardized approach. However, by
using different approaches and methods it is possible to increase the activity and motivation of students and achieve a better understanding of contents. The author points out the specific qualities and efficiency of creating a critical approach to teaching mathematics in primary school. The investigative approach to mathematics relies on the view that the learning of mathematical truths is a process of assimilation through which new information is integrated in the existing structure of mathematical experience. Involving students on the largest possible number of levels helps them understand contents, stimulates their curiosity and presents mathematics not as a world of its own, using a language of its own, but as a human activity whose purpose is to help solve problems.

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