This time we have asked P. K. Chaurasia (Ph.D.) from the National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT), New Delhi to share his thoughts about GeoGebra and its use in math curriculum.
The mathematics education community is constantly engaged in finding out how children best learn mathematics. The current National Curriculum Framework (NCF-2005) in India, developed by NCERT describes two goals, a “narrow aim” and a “higher aim” of mathematics education. The higher aim is about developing the children’s inner resources to think and reason mathematically, so that they become capable of making logical conclusions and handling abstractions. While following the „narrow aims” means equipping children with very good algorithmic skills by just having them remember the formulas. At NCERT our ambition is to chieve this „higher aim” rather than only the „narrow aim”.
As NCF recommends, the teacher’s role is to create opportunities for children to build their own understanding of concepts. However, if only we could discover precisely how children best learn mathematics then we could work out exactly how to teach them the subject in the most effective way.
It is easy to realize that GeoGebra promotes experimental learning and can be used to represent mathematical content in multiple ways. So, the question – is can an innovative integration of GeoGebra in Mathematics curriculum support the learning of mathematics adapted to the children’s own learning styles?
Even though GeoGebra can influence what is taught, teachers need to design the suitable instructions and environment that best support this approach. Well-applied GeoGebra can support requirements of learning outcomes as it helps the children process mathematical concepts through investigation and problem solving.
GeoGebra can also be seen as a catalyst for a paradigm shift. Since educational materials and books became accessible for everyone jn an electronic form, education has experienced a gradual shift away from the idea that its success relies on the student’s capacity to memorize and accurately recall large amounts of information.
Instead, greater emphasis has been placed on developing research and problem-solving skills; on equipping students with effective inquiry skills, including the ability to find and process new information using digital technologies. Many educators now see GeoGebra, with its interconnectedness, as an environment rather than just a tool for learning and teaching. The difference between these two perspectives is significant, the former requiring a fundamental change in methodology and teaching practice for many teachers. We should draw a road map for achieving the ultimate target of the highly progressive GeoGebra enabled Mathematics curriculum.