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Topic: Polya's Ten Commandments for Teachers
Replies: 3   Last Post: Feb 9, 2013 12:34 AM

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GS Chandy

Posts: 8,307
From: Hyderabad, Mumbai/Bangalore, India
Registered: 9/29/05
Re: Polya's Ten Commandments for Teachers
Posted: Feb 7, 2013 3:22 AM
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With reference to "Polya's Ten Commandments for Teachers" (see Jerry Becker's post pasted below), it strikes me that several of the 'commandments' are in fact a strong endorsement of teaching via the 'discovery mode' rather than via the pure 'lecture mode'.

This does NOT mean that we have to do away with 'lectures' entirely - merely that there is much more to effective learning by students than simply 'lecturing' them in the belief that one is 'teaching'. Lectures should be recognized as constituting only a rather minor part of the 'teaching+learning' dyad - properly, we should in fact call that the 'learning+teaching' dyad.

Jerry Becker posted Feb 6, 2013 4:20 AM:
> ***********************************
> From Mathematics for Teaching website. See
> ndments-for-teachers/
> ***********************************
> George Polya's Ten Commandments for Teachers
> [Posted by Erlina Ronda]
> This is George Polya's 10 commandments for teachers:
> 1. Be interested in your subject.
> 2. Know your subject.B
> 3. Know about the ways of learning: The best way to
> learn anything is
> to discover it by yourself.
> 4. Try to read the faces of your students, try to see
> their
> expectations and difficulties, put yourself in their
> place.
> 5. Give them not only information, but "know-how",
> attitudes of mind,
> the habit of methodical work.
> 6. Let them learn guessing.
> 7. Let them learn proving.
> 8. Look out for such features of the problem at hand
> as may be useful
> in solving the problems to come - try to disclose the
> general pattern
> that lies behind the present concrete situation.
> 9. Do not give away your whole secret at once-let the
> students guess
> before you tell it-let them find out by themselves as
> much as
> feasible.
> 10. Suggest it, do not force it down your throats.
> I got this from the plenary talk of Bernard Hodgson
> titled Whither
> the mathematics/didactics interconnection? at ICME
> 12, Korea, where
> he highlighted the important contribution of George
> Polya in making
> stronger the interconnection between mathematics and
> didactics and
> between mathematicians and mathematics educators.
> If it's too hard to commit the 10 commandments to
> memory then just
> remember the two rules below which is also from
> Polya. Combine it
> with Four Freedoms in the Classroom and you are all
> set.
> The first rule of teaching is to know what you are
> supposed to teach.
> The second rule of teaching is to know a little more
> than you are
> supposed to teach.
> -------------------
> The Four Freedoms in the Classroom
> [
> -in-the-classroom/]
> [Posted by Erlina Ronda]
> You will find that by providing the following
> freedoms in your
> classroom an improved learning environment will be
> created.
> The Freedom to Make Mistakes
> Help your students to approach the acquisition of
> knowledge with
> confidence. We all learn through our mistakes. Listen
> to and observe
> your students and encourage them to explain or
> demonstrate why they
> THINK what they do. Support them whenever they
> genuinely participate
> in the learning process. If your class is afraid to
> make mistakes
> they will never reach their potential.
> The Freedom to Ask Questions
> Remember that the questions students ask not only
> help us to assess
> where they are, but assist us to evaluate our own
> ability to foster
> learning. A student, having made an honest effort,
> must be encouraged
> to seek help. (There is no value in each of us
> re-inventing the
> wheel!). The strategy we adopt then should depend
> upon the student
> and the question but should never make the child feel
> that the
> question should never have been asked.
> The Freedom to Think for Oneself
> Encourage your class to reach their own solutions. Do
> not stifle
> thought by providing polished algorithms before
> allowing each student
> the opportunity of experiencing the rewarding
> satisfaction of
> achieving a solution, unaided. Once, we know that we
> can achieve, we
> may also appreciate seeing how others reached the
> same goal. SET THE
> The Freedom to Choose their Own Method of Solution
> Allow each student to select his own path and you
> will be helping her
> to realize the importance of thinking about the
> subject rather than
> trying to remember.
> *******************************************
> --
> Jerry P. Becker
> Dept. of Curriculum & Instruction
> Southern Illinois University
> 625 Wham Drive
> Mail Code 4610
> Carbondale, IL 62901-4610
> Phone: (618) 453-4241 [O]
> (618) 457-8903 [H]
> Fax: (618) 453-4244
> E-mail:

Message was edited by: GS Chandy

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