Theoretical Stance on Learning and Teaching Mathematics

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Research Essay: Theoretical Stance for the Teaching of Mathematics –

As a pre-service teacher, my philosophy of teaching Mathematics is based on a constructivist, student-centred approach. I have learned, through my practicum experiences, as well as Mathematics Education courses, which advocate this approach, that it is the most effective way to teach Mathematics. This essay will explicitly describe my philosophy, as well as explain and justify the specific teaching and learning strategies related to this philosophy, supported by the research and literature.

Philosophy of Mathematics Education: Constructivist, Student-Centred Approach –

When learning Mathematics through a constructivist approach, the students are able to build their own understandings of concepts and problems, actively constructing knowledge in relevant contexts, while the teacher supports this construction of knowledge. The focus is on the personal ways of understanding and the actual process, rather than the answers. Constructivist Mathematics instruction encourages “reflective thinking, higher-order learning skills, testing viability of ideas and seeking alternative views”. The learner also understands how this knowledge of particular mathematical concepts and rules are applicable to real life problems and situations. (ict site)

Student-centred learning is vital for students to construct their understandings and commit them to memory in ways most appropriate for them. Activities that include engaging, participatory experiences, discussion, multiple tools and modes of representations and interactive demonstrations are successful in fostering learning and enthusiasm. Learning in an interactive way, with the teacher, a partner or small group makes t...

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...ent of students” in small group work and can be used to enhance investigations and learning of concepts. Technology is an integral part of students’ everyday lives so incorporating computers will allow for students to be thoroughly engaged in activities. Technology also allows students to explore and express their understandings on a world wide platform via the internet, through information gathering, networking and publishing programs. (computer supported collaborative learning)

Conclusion –

Effective maths teachers use a variety of teaching approaches, strategies and tools. Through personal experiences, applications and research I have found that these various constructivist, student-centred strategies and tools are very effective in developing not only mathematical knowledge and understanding, but also supporting apprehensive or struggling students.

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