Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition)
Rhythm and rhyme help make sense of maths
A CAPE TOWN teacher has put a creative spin on daunting subjects like maths, which gave him sleepless nights when he was in high school.
Kurt Minnaar, a Grade 8 maths teacher at Eben Donges High School in Kraaifontein, is a professional hip hop dancer.
He put together a rap and dance video which helps pupils with their times tables. The video also keeps his classes up beat.
“Teaching children through what they love makes a world of difference,” he said.
Minnaar is a YouTube sensation too. A clip of his marriage proposal, singing and dancing, to his now wife went viral with close on 100 000 views.
Minnaar said: “I can sympathise with the pupils. I know what it’s like to do maths but not understand it. This is a sure way to ensure that the kids have fun while they study. I also want to show them that maths and music are both a universal language.”
Minnaar said he wanted to help “uplift the morale of other teachers as this country’s education system is flawed. We also need to get the respect for the teaching profession back. And that comes with getting the pupils to love and respect what we do”.
“Why do parents need to pay tons of money to send their kids to schools in other areas when there are schools in their own neighbourhoods?”
Grade 8 pupils Tidimalo Moatsana, 15, and Rashied Ngamange, 14, said Minnaar’s method had helped them with the subject.
Tidimalo said it had broadened their thinking and perspective on life.
They said he had helped them achieve more than they had ever expected and that they could understand the the subject better now.
Grade 8 pupil Storm Spanenberg, 13, told Weekend Argus Minnaar’s teaching method was “inspiring and creative”.
“He makes it interesting and makes us want to learn and challenges our thinking.”
His classmate and friend, Ntsika Dantile, 13, could not stop singing Minnaar’s praises, too.
“Before I came to his class I was getting between 30 and 40 percent. Now I am doing much better, I’m getting between 70 and 80 percent, which is amazing”.
Minnaar now hopes to raise enough money to compile a CD with the times tables and have them distributed nationwide. He also wants to produce dance videos which he believes would be “instrumental to the learning experience of young children”.