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Discussion: Roundtable
Topic: Readings Ch1 &2


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Subject:   RE: Readings Ch1 &2
Author: Bethany
Date: Oct 25 2005
Wow. That is really thoughtful commentary.

You note that it is a difficult process to change.  I think that is quite true
in most areas of life.  That is awesome that you are attempting to move forward
with that change.  That's really all that can be done is move one step at a
time.  

There are so many issues involved with effecting change in something so
institutionalized - from teacher educators at our universities, to the
preservice teachers, to the administrators and policy makers.  Even beyond that
there are the students too!  I find that students are often reluctant to
different types of teaching styles such as inquiry based learning as well.  They
are so accustomed to be given the procedure that when asked to work and think in
a different mode they rebel and become easily frustrated.

I still think the attempt is worth it though.  The research regarding the TIMMS
studies and NAEP definitely shows American students don't do well conceptually
so we as thoughtful educators need to facilitate that change.  It's gotta start
somewhere...

You also comment on the fact it is not the multiple representations but the
connections.  EXACTLY!!!  If students don't make the connections among the table
graphs and symbols then they cannot apply them in problem solving situations
when one representation might give more insight than another.  The article notes
research along those lines as well.

Again thanks for the thoughts!
Bethany

On Oct 25 2005, sshs wrote:
> I agree with the idea that students must multiple representations of
> a concept in order to make the connections and understanding as a
> whole. I aslo think the statements that mathematics is still
> generally taught in the process method and needs to be changed makes
> sense.  However, as much as most of us would like to change it is a
> very difficult process.  I feel the need to rethink my teaching
> style, but I am struggling with finding the time in and out of the
> classroom to successfully do so.  I am trying to use more multiple
> representations and help students make those critical connections,
> but I find that these lessons take me way out of my comfort zone.
> For the last 5 years I have incorporated much more into my lessons,
> but I am not sure a. if its working effectively and b. how to
> incorporate more without sacrificing content.

The difficulty it
> seems to me is not using multiple representations but in making sure
> the students make the proper connections between them.  The graphing
> calculators have made it easier, but as the reading alluded to they
> need to used as a tool.  I have had  a lot of training using them
> but still feel like I don't often do a good job with them.
Using
> other technology such as the Smart Board or School Pad might help.
> These tools allow teachers to engage in more discussion and less low
> level questioning, but requires more time and there use often leads
> to areas outside the lesson.  This is hard for some teachers me
> included who are worried about covering the curriculum in a limited
> amount of time.
Another area that I found interesting was the
> comment on teachers needing to re-learn the content of what I teach
> using multiple representations.  I feel like that is me.

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