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Through the years, from the time of the Kothari Commission, there have been several committees looking at ways of making the school curriculum meaningful and enjoyable for the learners. Based on the understanding developed over the years, a National Curriculum Framework NCF was finalised in 2005. As part of this exercise, a National Focus Group on Teaching of Mathematics was formed. Its report, which came in 2005, highlighted a constructivist approach to the teaching and learning of mathematics. The essence of this approach is that children already know, and do some mathematics very naturally in their surroundings, before they even join school. The syllabus, teaching approach, textbooks etc., should build on this knowledge in a way that allows children to enjoy mathematics, and to realise that mathematics is more about a way of reasoning than about mechanically applying formulae and algorithms. The students and teachers need to perceive mathematics as something natural and linked to the world around us. While teaching mathematics, the focus should be on helping children to develop the ability to particularise and generalise, to solve and pose meaningful problems, to look for patterns and relationships, and to apply the logical thinking behind mathematical proof. And, all this in an environment that the children relate to, without overloading them. This is the philosophy with which the mathematics syllabus from Class I to Class XII was developed, and which the textbook development committee has tried to realise in the present textbook. More specifically, while creating the textbook, the following broad guidelines have been kept in mind.
The matter needs to be linked to what the child has studied before, and to her experiences. The language used in the book, including that for word problems , must be clear, simple and unambiguous. Concepts processes should be introduced through situations from the children s environment. For each concept process give several examples and exercises, but not of the same kind. This ensures that the children use the concept process again and again, but in varying contexts. Here several should be within reason, not overloading the child.