A fundamental tenet of Knowre, and something that drives all of us in our daily lives, is the belief that all students can be successful - that anyone can be good at math. It is a belief that stems from our origins as an after-school math academy in South Korea. It is a belief that is core to every aspect of our product. It is a belief that drives every decision we make for our students and teachers.
The misnomer that there are "math people" and "non-math people" is just that, a misnomer. We never discuss the idea that there are “reading people” and “non-reading people” despite the fact that the acquisition of that knowledge remains the same - small units of information that we master and connect in order to create a web of knowledge that we use to form words, sentences, prose, and eventually ideas. If students can grow to be good readers, then students can also grow to be, and believe they are, good at math.
As we all know, knowledge is cumulative. From my 4-year-old’s understanding of numbers as a way to represent a count of items, to her understanding that our 5th floor apartment is higher than the 4th, these pieces of information connect and compound to form knowledge. The genesis of Knowre stems from our similar experiences with students. The “aha” moment that we had (and desire for all our students) was that students struggling with a particular topic weren’t struggling because of the concept itself, but because of some prerequisite skill they hadn’t mastered.
Students struggled with the topic at hand because some past skill or skills were hindering their ability to connect the current pieces of information to create knowledge. Our goal, therefore, was not only to provide instruction on new topics of learning, but also to diligently discover, in that matrix of data points that make up a student’s math brain, which individual dot was missing or shown just a little less brightly than the others.
This, at its core, is the basis of Knowre’s “Walk Me Through” technology and why we believe so deeply that any student can be successful. By linking knowledge and breaking it down into its most fundamental units, whether it be that addition is a prerequisite to multiplication, or that you need to be able to find the y-intercept to graph a line in the form y=mx+b, or that the number 5 is greater than the number 4, we can identify the knowledge gap a student may possess. To identify this learning gap is the first step, and then to support, review and build up is the next. Knowre’s Walk Me Through subsequently provides step-by-step explanations and supports in real-time to the student as they solve problems. (More on this in future posts!)
This scalable and repeatable process of identifying and filling learning gaps is, again, at the core of what Knowre is and does, and why we believe that all students can be successful. It’s not that students hate math, they hate being frustrated and feeling unsuccessful. We know that cumulative knowledge is only made up of little bits of knowledge and that every student, given the right approach, can learn the small bits, meaning they can master the big ones as well.