In primary science, we aim to introduce quantification as both a skill and an attitude. These ideas would be carried through into the middle and secondary school levels, with a gradual increase in the level of the skills demanded. Briefly, our aims are the following:

- Students should realise that their experiences of the world are
quantifiable.
- They should realise that quantification makes experiences
interesting. For example, counting the number of plants and animals
in a given small area before and after the monsoons, enables them to
see a major pattern in the living world. Next they can see smaller
patterns superposed within the larger one. When students are
sensitised to some patterns, a simple experience like the above has
the potential to get richer with every successive year.
- Students should develop a curiosity about written numbers around
them. Asking the question "What does this number mean?" can give us a
lot of information about the world around us. The frequency and
complexity of meaning of the observed numbers would differ according
to the environment, but a start could be made anywhere. The power and
potential of this approach, in an increasingly technology-intensive
world, appears promising.
- Students should use skills of drawing and constructing
spontaneously in learning concepts. In
**design and construction**we provide scope for visuo-spatial ability, manual dexterity and a sense of aesthetics. - Overall, students should develop mathematical skills for
understanding and dealing with the world. These skills could get
increasingly complex with years. For example, rudimentary graphs
introduced in Class 3 are followed up in Class 4 with a variety of
picture graphs and then more conventional graphs. Variables would be
introduced in the middle school, while in the secondary school, one
would deal with various symbolic representations and causal
relationships expressible in algebraic form.

Jayashree Ramadas January 1999