For the past decade or so, there’s been a decline in the number of mathematics students in high schools in Australia. But one teacher is giving new life to the subject through his thoroughly engaging YouTube tutorials is Eddie Woo, the man behind WooTube.
A teacher at Sydney’s Cherrybrook Technology High School, Woo has more than 40,000 subscribers — not bad for someone whose content is dedicated to explaining concepts like trigonometric equations, inequality proofs, and checksums.
Woo, who will feature on ABC documentary television series Australian Story, explained how he gained a passion for teaching mathematics in university, where he was studying to become a teacher.
He told ABC Radio Melbourne on Monday how his mind “went blank” when he was trying to figure out how to explain first principles, a concept in calculus, as part of a university assignment.
“I sorta could answer the questions, but I just never comprehended it until that moment where I was forced to explain it to my friends, to my fellow university students,” Woo told the station.
“And that’s where I realised if you ask the question of maths ‘why is this important,’ ‘what does it speak to me about the world’ — not just ‘how do I answer the question’ — then actually, it speaks really deeply to that human desire to understand the world around you and be able to appreciate what makes it work.”
For many students, Woo’s method of teaching has helped suck them into the world of math, a subject which many kids can struggle with.
Also, we’ve always wondered what on earth that number “e” means. Now we know!
More high school teachers like this guy, please.