Maths. That subject throughout our school lives which we came to dread. But was it because we felt we couldn’t understand the topics? Was it the way the subject was taught? Or was it because the scenarios were just that – scenarios. I was reading the autobiography of Richard Branson who admitted despite not being the brightest student at school, transformed into one of the most successful entrepreneurs in the business world. And yes, maths was not his best subject either.
He talked about how in the classroom the maths problems set by the teacher did not make sense. However, when he started a few entrepreneurial business ideas outside school which involved real money, did the calculations make sense.
Perhaps that is the key to understanding a subject you dislike. It may not be that you don’t know the material. But rather it needs to be presented in a way everyone can grasp the basic concepts.
Not everyone learns the same way either.
For me, I know this was true about maths. It took two or three attempts for me to understand a statistics topic at University a couple of years ago. Okay, I know statistics are not the most exciting of topics, but it was compulsory.
A classroom based environment did not help. Nor did the lecturer present it in a way that inspired interest. These two factors are key to successful learning.
So, I switched to an online University based in another Australian State and I discovered online, distant learning was the way to go. Not only were the learning modules stepped out in an easy to understand format. The online lecture series were presented clearly, the case studies were real – and the lecturer was more passionate about the material. This combination made for a better learning experience. End result was that I successfully completed the topic.
So, maybe it not that we don’t like maths, but the way it is presented for us to successfully understand it.
Learning today has changed and there are so many more options available than there once were. So, next time you find yourself struggling with a subject, it may not be that you don’t understand it but simply the way it is delivered.