Over and over again, we hear the same two complaints from students: “I’m bad at math.” and... “When am I ever going to use this, anyway?”
To explain our teaching philosophy, we’ll start by responding to these attitudes.
"When am I ever going to use this anyway?"
The short answer is, “hardly ever.” Unless you plan a career as an engineer, scientist or mathematician, you won’t ever use the Pythagorean Theorem. After all, you learn most of the math skills you need for everyday life in junior high, don’t you? So, we’re not going to claim that you’ll need advanced math in any ordinary way, because we know you’d see right through that.
A More Powerful and Skillful Brain
The challenging mental exercises of mathematical thought will help to grow your brain. Young brains still have plenty of synaptic connections to make, so the more math you learn and the more challenging problems you tackle, the more powerful and skilful your brain becomes. Adult brains can sharpen up too, making problem solving in your work place a lot easier.
The Language of the Natural World
Even if you aren’t aware of it, math is the language of the natural world. Whether you’re looking through a microscope at objects that can’t be seen by the naked eye, or you’re gazing at stars and planets through a powerful telescope, everything you see is governed by mathematical law. From Newton’s law of universal gravitation to Fibonacci’s golden ratio applied to all forms of life, mathematics can help you make sense of the world.
“I'm Bad at Math”
A defence mechanism or a self-fulfilling prophecy? You might have no confidence in your ability, and you say it to save face – if you don’t try to solve a math problem, you don’t fail, right? The trouble is, the more you say, “I’m bad at math”, the truer it becomes.
We know it’s not about ability – anyone can solve a math problem – it’s just about confidence. We’re here to change your attitude to math. Not only will you do better, you’ll be so intrigued that you’ll end up having fun!
Working with Tangibles
It’s easier to learn and retain mathematical theory if you can visualize it. For instance, we help you learn about pi through a tangible activity – cutting string to the length of a circle’s diameter. With that string, you measure how many times it will fit around the circumference – and you never forget the meaning of pi again.
The Story Behind the Equation
Alongside tangible activities are the building blocks of higher mathematics –equations. We don’t expect you to just memorize them. Instead, we’ll ask you to find the derivation – or story – behind every equation. Knowing where each equation comes from is the most interesting part of math, and then it’s a lot easier to remember the equation itself.
Honesty and Respect
A strong part of our teaching philosophy is about honesty – answering your questions without prevarication or evasion – and respect – filling your valuable time with the best and most effective learning. We treat all our students, whatever their age, in the same way, we treat each other and other adults. It’s about fostering teaching environments and student-tutor relationships that translate to achievement.