Dr. Nguyen Tran Trac – Former Principal of PHS
Doing well in math, science and technology are the educational goals of Pacific Primary, Middle and High School (PHS).
Many Math teachers often get the following questions from students: What do we study this Derivative (or Primitive) for? Many students have questions like this: Why do we have to study this subject, why do we study that subject? And I’m sure many students reading this article must be wondering the same thing. This question is the same as when you are a boy or a girl, studying in Grade 1, having your teacher hold your hand to practice writing each letter A, B, C, etc. You may wonder and want to ask: “Miss, why do I have to learn to write the letter A, B, C?”. Now, I believe that you understand why you had to learn the letters A, B, and C in the past; then you will probably be able to answer the question: “What do I study Math for now?”
Mathematics is not just a theoretical subject, it is a tool of life, a tool for learning and researching. It trains students to reason closely with a logical mind. The beauty of mathematics lies in its coherence, clarity, and rigor. It is not surprising, then, that Mathematics is a core of the curriculum in many countries.
In fact, many students, mostly girls, are afraid of Math. But is it true that Mathematics is a “hard to swallow” subject, is it true that I cannot become a good student in Math? The answer is: Not so.
The problem lies in: The will to learn and the method of learning.
Can you stand in front of a blackboard with a piece of chalk concentrating for hours on solving a difficult math problem?
Every day, like every other day, can you sit at your desk in the evening to study, do homework, prepare a presentation, … for three hours, only occasionally taking a ten-minute break to relax?
During class time, as well as self-study at home, you never let yourself be distracted by other activities such as singing, TV, etc.?
If you consider yourself to be able to do so, then you are a person with a will to learn.
In terms of learning methods, there are three forms of learning: learning with teachers at school, learning with friends (through group study, discussion) and self-studying.
At school, teachers guide students to understand the core and basic knowledge, and train students to solve typical math problems. In class, they need to brainstorm to follow the lecture, try to grasp at least 70% of the knowledge in the lesson. When they go home, they review the teacher’s lecture to make sure they understand 100% of the lecture.
Through group study, students have the opportunity to discuss with friends to help each other understand the lesson more deeply, solve problems that one or the other still has questions. This form of learning is very practical and exciting.
But the most important factor in learning is self-study spirit. At school, due to time limits, teachers can only guide students with basic skills to solve some typical types of exercises. Students must learn to self-study to have a stronger, broader knowledge, to acquire skills to solve more diverse types of problems. The best friend to rely on in self-study is textbooks and reference books. You should use reference books recommended by teachers. Using workbooks with solutions, students are not allowed to read the solution first; you have to solve the problem yourselves, and then compare the answer with the solution in the book. If you find it different, close the book, check your solution yourself to see where the error is, until you find the mistake. The best and most active way to self-study math is to solve math problems with the board (easy to erase, rewrite, redraw)
When teachers give you homework, the night before the next math class, you need to try to solve them all. In class, if the solution doesn’t look like you did, students should not immediately conclude that you did it wrong, because a problem can have many different solutions. In this case, you should volunteer to solve the problem on the board for the teacher to comment and evaluate. In fact, sometimes students come up with a way to solve a problem more compactly than the teacher instructed.
Students need to remember: with a persistent will to study and good study methods, an average student in math, after three months of self-study, will become a good math student when entering the new school year. This is not just a word of encouragement, but the experience of many good math students.
Studying Science and Technology subjects
Mathematics is an important tool for learning science subjects, especially Physics or engineering and technology subjects. To do well in science subjects, students also need the same factors as described in the math section, but because the experimental nature of the sciences is different from the rational math, the learning method also has its differences.
When studying a Science subject like Physics, in addition to Math skills, students must understand the nature of Physical phenomena. For example, in a particular physics problem, students need to analyze what force does this object move, why does the other object fall, etc. Many students are good at math but not good at physics, mainly because they are not good at understanding physical phenomena, which leads them to solve the problem in a wrong way.
The second important point is that students must master the physics laws that govern phenomena (must remember and understand how to apply them). The laws of physics have a similar role to the theorems in mathematics but unlike mathematical theorems, physics laws often come with conditions. Students must master the conditions when applying a law to solve a physics problem.
In math, students only need to master postulates and theorems while in science subjects, students, in addition to having to understand the laws, also have to remember definitions, properties, uses, …; which means they have to apply theory and remember more content. Especially with chemistry, inorganic chemistry, the subject requires students, after understanding, to memorize a lot of details, content, properties and chemical reactions.
Chemical reactions are at the core of Chemistry. Substance A reacts with substance B, under conditions of X and Y, gives substance C, substance D, substance E, precipitate settles or gas rises, etc. Substance A has this formula, substance B has the other formula, etc. All such details must be learnt by heart by students.
Another very important thing is the condition of the reaction. The same two substances A and B react with each other, but in this condition, they give substance C, substance D, substance E but in other conditions, they give substance F, substance G. Therefore, when learning chemical reactions, students must learn and remember the conditions of the reaction.
Physics as well as Chemistry are experimental sciences, so doing experiments is very important in the cognitive process of students. Experiments help students have an intuitive view of physical phenomena, chemical reactions, make students better understand, remember the knowledge longer. They also make the learning process more enjoyable and practical. There are two types of experiments: demonstration experiments (or demonstrations) made by teachers for students to observe and draw conclusions, and practical experiments conducted by students themselves with the guidance of teachers. This second type of experiment helps students gain hands-on experience with science experimentation skills.
However, students need to be very careful when doing practical experiments, especially with some experiments using chemicals such as acids, bases or explosive chemical mixtures.
Chemical experiments make this subject less dry, stimulate curiosity, and interest in students. With experiments, reactions re no longer boring sequences of symbols but become vivid, colorful contents [a blue litmus alcohol solution (due to the basicity of the solution) when added a few drops of acidic liquid, becomes colorless transparent (on neutralization), then turns red (because of excess acid)], when doing the experiment creating bromine gas, a dense dark brown gas rises up in the tube; realistic (when students watch the precipitate produced in the reaction settles to the bottom of the test tube), full of sensation (the test tube heats up in exothermic reactions)
Technology is a subject for students to familiarize themselves with the applications of science subjects such as mechanics, electricity, biology, … in industry or in daily life. Technology can be considered as a bridge between scientific theories and applications in life; on the other hand, this subject can also be considered as a supplement and extension to practice.
For example, from the knowledge of two basic ways to connect electrical circuits in the electrical theory section, students can learn more ways to connect electrical circuits in technology practice or in daily life. Students can be guided by teachers to do specific exercises such as: Given electrical tools with standards specified by the manufacturer (such as voltage, capacity), connect an electrical circuit to meet certain requirements, calculate the amount of electricity consumed in a period of time, how to protect the safety of the circuit, etc.
Through lessons on technology, students no longer see science subjects as distant theories but associated with industry and daily life.
For many students, science subjects are also very “difficult to swallow”. How to memorize so many contents, principles, laws, and so many reactions to this and other conditions, etc. is really not that simple. Students learn and improve everyday by asking and solving questions with the help of teachers; they take regular mini tests, mid-term tests, and final tests. For students in grade 12, they are also guided by teachers to review the entire program of subjects, from April every year until the graduation exam. In such learning conditions, they have many opportunities to achieve good results in the high school graduation exam as well as in the entrance exam to universities and colleges.
Primary, middle and high school Pacific is a Vietnamese-English bilingual school that is organized according to international standards to develop key competencies, help students integrate with the background. global advanced education and maximum development of personal capacity.