When I was a kid, my dad often gave me math exercises to solve. He called them ‘math problems’, how true! This was over and beyond the regular homework I got given from school. Yes, I was very fortunate to have the best dad in the world, God bless him!
The first thing I struggled with back then was why I had to do more work at home, after I had already completed my school homework. To add to my struggle, when I solved his math problems my dad had this habit of asking me to find a different way of solving the same problem. I really struggled with understanding why he asked me to do so. I was thinking to myself, ‘hey, but I already solved the problem – isn’t that enough?’ My dad’s response was, ‘I’m more interested in the steps you take to solve a problem rather than the answer.’
Later in life I appreciated why he was doing this.
His goal was to help me develop alternative solutions to a problem, which would empower me to choose between the alternative solutions.
By Dayo Sowunmi