The latter years of the 20th century saw the development, in many countries, of universal secondary education. This meant that all students, irrespective of their ability or interest in Mathematics were obliged to continue learning in Mathematics to the end of their high school mathematics education.

In the past, students graduating into high school Mathematics classrooms were, for the most part, “Maths-Logical” thinkers. This meant that the “Chalk and talk” and multiple practice exercises approach to pedagogue worked for those students. But, with all students attending high school, their learning styles did not work with this traditional pedagogue. This meant that teaching pedagogues in Mathematics had to change. In addition, there was a need for massive syllabus changes to bring syllabuses in line with modern developments in Mathematics, particularly with the advent of computer technology. To further complicate the issue, if a teacher used a variety of pedagogue, the teacher needed to use an assessment process that reflects that education mathematics pedagogue.

This meant that my teaching pedagogue had to expand to cater for all my students as well as the requirements of the modern syllabuses in Mathematics.

Below is how I tried to make Mathematics more appealing to my students at the beginning of the 21st century. There are fourteen strategies I used to help students want to be totally involved in the development of their Mathematics.

My student centered strategies were:

1. Mathematics had to be fun, relevant, and life related.

I used such strategies as a fun quiz, real-life questions, easy to difficult challenges, questions in unfamiliar contexts and speed quizzes to name just a few strategies.

2. I try to teach Mathematics the way I would have liked to have been taught, not as I was taught.

Remember how you were often bored in “Maths” classes and you could not see the relevance of Mathematics to your life. Don’t allow your students to feel that way.

3. I used a variety of teaching strategies to fit the topics I was teaching.

Don’t let Mathematics be just “chalk and talk” and practice of multiple exercises. Use technology, cooperative learning techniques, hands-on material, practical lessons, the quiz and any strategies that take into account the different learning styles of your students. Then assess each topic in a way that reflects your teaching approach.

4. I often used my students as assistant teachers.

I often used my more able students as mentors in their areas of expertise. I may need to give them some tutor training but I found that the other students react well to their help and progress faster. What is important about the mentor’s words is that it is in the language of the student. This enables the less able student to understand more quickly.