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Pedagogy: Outlook on teaching math (part 2)

January 23, 2007 pm31 4:54 pm

Dave at Mathnotations wrote this big ideas about teaching math post. It got me thinking.

I maintain a resume. Years ago I added to it an “Outlook on Teaching Mathematics” page. I jammed as much of what I thought was most important as I could into one page (without using small fonts or obnoxiously narrow margins). I started posting it here last weekend. The first part is here. Read on for the second piece. (I’ll post the last later this week).

The details at the end of the second point are from lessons that I use.

• I strongly believe that instruction should be adjusted or modified to meet the needs of the current students. This entails a constant process of carefully planned experimentation, reflection, adjustment, and evaluation. Further, I have found it valuable to share with students information about modifications (pacing, depth, styles of instruction, balance of traditional/non-traditional work), and to solicit additional feedback from them.

(more beneath the fold) —>

• Concept ownership takes place more readily when the learner considers him or herself a stakeholder in the process. To this end it is desirable to foster a sense of control or ownership of other aspects of the classroom, including, as appropriate, involving the students in some decision making (see above). It is also possible to make students part of the subject itself, whether through data studies of the class or students’ families, or the creation of geometric figures based on the students’ own birthdays.

[The whole piece is available here.]

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