2013-03-09

Hasenschule: Was bedeutet das? Bitte erklären das mir. What does it mean? Please explain me that. (1)

When my students asked me a question, I usually answerd the following:
``Was bedeutet das? Bitte erklëren das mir. (What does it mean? Could you please explain me that?)''
I continue as:
``Mathe ist eine Sprache. Es gibt eine Bedeutung. (Math is a language. There is usually some meaning.)''
When I asked my students to explain the meaning of the question, they sometimes answer me, ``You are a teacher, you explain me.'' Well, that's true. But, I want to know they understand the question. I also want to teach them how to explain something. Therefore, I ask them, ``What does the question mean?'', ``Is it true?'', ``Please explain that why.''

Sometimes some students cried saying, ``You didn't teach me an answer.'' or ``You didn't help me. Help me, please.'' I was thinking, ``The answer is not so important. I want to you to learn how to learn by yourself. This is a practice. I wish soon you don't need my help. I want you to practice to solve a new problem. In the future, you will confront a total new problem that no human kind ever met, and you need to solve it. I want to help you to prepare that time because I can not help you that time.''  However, I am also still learning how to solve a new problem. I cannot really teach it since I still don't know it well. Therefore, I said, ``Please don't cry. You can understand if you think slowly, take time as much you need. If you can not do it today, there is a tomorrow. The answer is not so important. The understanding is the most important.'' By the way, in German the word ``correct'' is ``richtig'' and ``important'' is ``wichtig''. I can not say well that ``Richtig ist nicht so wichtig.'' since for Japanese, ``r'' and ``w'' are difficult to pronounce. This makes them laugh.

Five months ago, one student was always crying and her grade was always 5. She got last month 2 in math. I am so happy for her. (`1' is the highest grade in Germany.)

The following articles, I would like to talk about two stories.

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