Unfortunately, many learners struggle to solve “hard maths problems”.
They tend to always give up and look at the solution.
So the question is, how do we fix this?
Unfortunately, our traditional math curriculum unintentionally teaches students that math problems should take a few minutes at most.
“If you can’t get it by then you are clearly stupid.”
Of course, “real” mathematicians spend months, or years, or lifetimes, on a particular problem. A (one) problem!
(But we are obviously not delving into “real” mathematics in this particular blog post.)
The important thing to realize is that maths is a skill. A skill that needs to be developed!
Learners need to develop more productive habits when it comes to maths.
If you do not get a problem right away, that’s okay!
Learners must let it [the particular problem] sit for a while and come back to it later.
This requires learners to force themselves to persist a little bit longer each time.
Work a little past your frustration point, but not too far past it.
Think of this like exercise: you want to push yourself, but not so far that you get injured or over-exhausted.
If a learner needs a little chocolate (or caffeine for older learners) when tehy’re done, they’ve probably done it right.
Invest in yourself and your future by spending time on your maths problems.
And the most important thing to remember is: NEVER GIVE UP!