How Do We Make Math More Important? Confronting Issues in the Education of Mathematics in the Galapagos Islands
Finnemann, Nicole Marae
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Due to various amazing factors, I was privileged enough to spend my summer of the year 2002 on Santa Cruz of the Galapagos Islands, where I worked with the local education system and all of its members to improve upon the existing methods used for teaching mathematics. My work centered at a school for kindergarten through ninth grade called Tomas de Berlanga where I became closely involved with six teachers who taught math as well as with their classes of students. We worked together as a team to develop a personalized, ideal model for a mathematics curriculumn. We spent weeks implementing our ideas in a series of trial and error endeavors - of which I highlight the successes in this paper. At the end of August, after weeks of working together and having to deal with various unforeseen obstacles, the seven of us gave a presentation to surrounding community members. Our message was that mathematics are important for our lives outside of the numbers that they involve. We wanted to show that math is creative, and needs to be treated so. The following is a written account of the essence of my summer.