Tons and tons of resources exist for learning mathematics and STEM. These include videos, 1:1 mentoring, books, articles and occasionally (pseudo) games. How is PleDu different from these other resources is a valid question. In this post, we explore one of the core principles of how PleDu works. This same principle is described in two brilliant minds on learning: Seymour Papert and David Perkins.
Seymour Papert was a pioneer in using computational mediums for education. He formulated a principle directly in contrast to prevalent educational thinking. This principle was called the ‘power principle’. Stated simply, Papert asked what comes first, using it or getting it? He argued that conventional education relies on inverted and wrong order: to get a deep understanding without ever using the knowledge.
Conventional mathematics education (even the Engineering maths curriculum) relies on ‘trust me it will be useful’. If you have tried to study matrix multiplication, how complex numbers work you know what we are talking about . School and books make you solve artificially constructed simplified problems repeatedly not because they impart understanding. They are just easier to grade for the teacher. In his book, ‘Making Learning Whole’ David Perkins talks about learning rules and parts of a game like a baseball without ever trying to play it.
In PleDu, we deeply believe that using it comes before getting it. We make you use maths (say rotations of a matrix, using calculus to understand local behaviour of a function) intuitively, in a fun game setting. The games and quizzes are constructed based on how maths is used in the real-world application instead of simplistic, easy to assess problems. Through short gameplays and quizzes which ask only intuition-based questions (not applying mechanical procedures), you use the concepts repeatedly till you finally get it.
At PleDu, we think that everyone has a shot at learning even advanced maths if they are taught it well. We obsessively go over all research in learning to find methods that work and bring them in the PleDu learning app. This implies going against conventional order and doing something different (for example, using the power principle). We aspire to change the way we learn STEM using the Play, Think and Learn method.