EDP136 Mathematics Education Assessment 1: Professional Learning Report Week 4 Submission ————————————————- Topics 1 and 2 Section 1: Identify, describe and apply effective teaching strategies for teaching mathematics. Section 2: Like so many things in life, the methods of teaching have also evolved. Traditionally, teachers instructed students in the course material rather than encourage students to be constructive and think for themselves. The readings in the allocated text suggest a teaching and learning strategy or method known as, ‘constructivism. This method has proven to be most successful to impart knowledge to children in the learning environment (Fetherston, 2006, pp. 151-174). ————————————————- The constructivist teacher acts as a mediator or a coach who assists students to develop and assess their own understanding and learning. Constructivism has been shown to have various benefits, including ownership of learning, the ability to transfer learned constructivist principles to other situations, and the promotion of social and communication skills (Wilson, 2004).
After analysing the selected readings, one may strongly agree that mathematics is like learning another language. There is such a broad vocabulary of specific terms, number formulas, times-tables and volume and area equations. With effective and accessible assistance, students will be able to learn the challenging and puzzling subject in a more enjoyable and timely manner. Students learn and become familiarized with the mathematical language through discussion, which will assist them develop a deeper understanding, analysis and express ideas and adapt to new ways of thinking (Booker et al, 2010).
It is critical for students to understand the importance of the mathematical language as this will support teachers in assisting students come to terms with new mathematical concepts. Section 3: The effective primary teacher must continually seek to improve their knowledge and understanding of the subjects they teach, embrace new methods of teaching and knowledge of their student’s capabilities in order to become exceptional. Effective teachers strive to create the best possible conditions for learning and continually endeavour to make learning as easy as possible for students (Ayers, Sawyer & Dinham as cited in Killen 2005).
A constructivist teacher will produce a classroom environment that will provide meaningful learning experiences, allowing students to hypothesize, manipulate, pose questions, do research, investigate, imagine and create. Students will use these experiences, information and perceptions to construct knowledge and meaning (Fetherston, 2006, pp. 151-174). ————————————————- Children learn best through play and teachers can assist student relate to real life situations by implementing fun and motivating learning activities.
Some of these constructivist methods can be as simple as grouping students together to scaffold their learning. The constructivist teacher demonstrates, instead of simply giving the answer. The process of finding a solution is taught to students, increasing learning and understanding (Booker, 2010) Maths has a specific vocabulary. “Language is crucial to the learning of mathematics because it is through discussion that learners come to terms with mathematical ideas, develop ways of expressing concepts and processes, and take on the ways of thinking as their own. (Booker, 2010) When mathematical ideas are communicated, specific care is taken in formulating language to keep track of what is happening with materials or representations which will eventually allow formal symbolic recording, mental operations or approximations to be conducted confidently’ (Booker 2010). Language is important. In the classroom environment, one should promote the use of mathematical language by encouraging class discussions and providing students with sufficient opportunities to practice their newly learned mathematical terms which promotes confidence in using them.
References Booker, G. , Bond, D. , Sparrow, L. , ; Swan, P. (2010). Teaching primary mathematics (4th edition). Frenchs Forest, NSW: Pearson Australia. Fetherston, T. (2006). Becoming an effective teacher. Sydney: Thompson. Killen, R. (2005) Programming and assessment for quality teaching and learning. Retrieved from: http://edocs. library. curtin. edu. au/eres_display. cgi? url=dc60263620. pdf;copyright=1 Wilson, B. G. (2004) Designing e-Learning environments for flexible learning activity and instruction. Educational Technology Research and Development