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My Philosophy of a Constructivist Mathematics Education Essay

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“Understanding is a measure of the quality and quantity of connections that a new idea has with existing ideas. The greater the number of connections to a network of ideas, the better the understanding (Van de Walle, 2007, p.27).”

My philosophy of a constructivist mathematics education
At what point does a student, in all intents and purposes, experience something mathematical? Does it symbolise a student that can remember a formula, write down symbols, see a pattern or solve a problem? I believe in enriching and empowering a student’s mathematical experience that fundamentally stems from a Piagetian genetic epistemological constructivist model. This allows the student to scaffold their learning through cognitive processes that are facilitated by teaching in a resource rich and collaborative environment (Thompson, 1994, p.69).

Constructivist learning
Constructivist learning in mathematics should endeavour to encourage students to “construct their own mathematical knowledge through social interaction and meaningful activities (Andrew, 2007, p.157).” I want students to develop their own conceptual frameworks, experiences, surroundings and prior knowledge. With learning being a social process, students can discuss in small groups their solution strategies rather than silently working at their desks (Clements et al., 1990, p.2).

Constructivist teaching
I consider the role of the constructivist teacher to enable to guide and facilitate a student’s thought processes and support the invention of viable mathematical ideas. A skilled teacher will also construct an appropriate classroom environment where students openly discuss, reflect on and make sense of tasks set before them (Clements et al, 1990). Through peda...


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...trategies discussed provide opportunities for students to actively create and invent their own mathematical knowledge through a meaningful and contextualised environment. Lastly, with learning being a social process, students are encouraged to co-operatively work together in groups where they learn to value their peers opinions and observations. I finish on a quote that symbolises the ideas at the crux of my philosophy,
“In constructivist classrooms, teachers (a) create environments where students are allowed to engage in actions and activity; (b) foster student-co-student interaction in and out of the classroom; (c) design activities that will agitate weak mathematical constructs students possess; (d) structure learning tasks within relevant, realistic environments; and (e) bring out several solutions and representations of the same problem (Driscoll, 2000).”



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My Philosophy of a Constructivist Mathematics Education Essay - At what point does a student, in all intents and purposes, experience something mathematical. Does it symbolise a student that can remember a formula, write down symbols, see a pattern or solve a problem. I believe in enriching and empowering students’ mathematical experiences that fundamentally stems from a Piagetian genetic epistemological constructivist model that allow students to scaffold their learning through cognitive processes that are facilitated by teaching in a resource rich and collaborative environment (Thompson, 1994, p.69)....   [tags: mathematics, education, teaching] 537 words
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