Date: Feb 5, 2013 5:50 PM Author: Jerry P. Becker Subject: Polya's Ten Commandments for Teachers ***********************************

From Mathematics for Teaching website. See

http://math4teaching.com/2012/07/28/g-polyas-ten-commandments-for-teachers/

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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.

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The Four Freedoms in the Classroom

[http://math4teaching.com/2012/02/01/the-four-freedoms-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

CHILDREN FREE TO THINK.

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.

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--

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: jbecker@siu.edu