One of the outstanding characteristics of scientific culture is quantification. Mathematics, therefore, assumes a prominent position in modern education.

In mathematics, the situation seems to be grim right from the start of the child’s school career. Far too many abstractions are introduced all at once with scant attention paid to well-known facts about development of mathematical thinking in children. To begin with, children are expected to handle arithmetical operations on very large numbers early. In Class I, they are supposed to go up to 100 (compared to this a British child in this class spends the whole year working with numbers up to 20), in Class II up to 1000. In Class III, up to 10,000, in Class IV up to a million, and in class V up to a crore.

Having children develop a positive attitude towards, and a liking for, Mathematics at the primary stage is as important, if not more important than the cognitive skills and concepts that they acquire. Mathematical games, puzzles and stories help in developing a positive attitude and in making connections between mathematics and everyday thinking.

At the secondary stage, students begin to perceive the structure of Mathematics as a discipline. They become familiar with the characteristics of mathematical communication: carefully defined terms and concepts, the use of symbols to represent them, precisely stated propositions, and proofs justifying propositions.

Mathematical modelling, data analysis and interpretation taught at this stage can consolidate a high level of mathematical literacy. Individual and group exploration of connections and patterns, visualisation and generalisation, and making and proving conjectures are important at this stage.

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