This is because of the way mathematics was taught at high school.
I have seen many students struggling, giving up or not even attempting to study mathematics because they weren’t given the right tools at school level and they think that they just “can’t do maths”.
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Once all the sheep had passed, he got rid of the extra stones and was left with a pile of stones representing his flock.
Every time he needed to count the sheep, he removed the stones from his pile; one for each sheep.This teaching principle is applied in some school systems, such as Montessori, to help children improve their abstract thinking.Not only does this guide them better through the maze of mathematical abstractions but it can be applied to other sciences as well.People no longer have to depend on real world objects, as was once the case, to solve a mathematical puzzle.They can now generalise to have wider applications or by matching it to other structures can illuminate similar phenomena.This means students need a degree of mathematical maturity to process the shift from the concrete to the abstract.Many high school kids, particularly from developing countries, come to university with an undeveloped level of intellectual maturity to handle abstraction.Teachers and lecturers can improve this abstract thinking by being aware of abstractions in their subject and learning to demonstrate abstract concepts through concrete examples.Experiments are also helpful to familiarise and assure students of an abstract concept’s solidity.There is real strength in this: we’ve created a space where the rules are minimalistic, yet the games that can be played are endless.Another advantage of abstraction is that it reveals a deeper connection between different fields of mathematics.