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Q&A #2999


The change in emphasis and methods of teaching math

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From: Gail (for Teacher2Teacher Service)
Date: Feb 13, 2000 at 12:59:33
Subject: Re: The change in emphasis and methods of teaching math

Many of the changes we are seeing now in math education are a result of
educators looking at their students from a developmental point of view, and
applying what we understand about how children acquire an understanding of
complex and abstract concepts.  We have learned that children need many
different concrete examples and activities to help them form a personal
understanding of many of the mathematical concepts we take for granted.

As for less emphasis on recording, I believe that what has really happened is
that we are looking for ways for students to record their ideas that are
developmentally appropriate rather than in terms of abstract equations that
are not meaningful to many students.  So, we might encourage a young student
to draw a picture, or make tally marks to show what he/she understands to be
happening.  This does not mean we are expecting the student only to work
mentally, or that written information is not deemed important.  Actually,
written information can tell us many things about what a student is thinking
as he/she solves problems.

I hope I have answered your question.  Please let us know what else we can
help you with.  :-)

 -Gail, for the Teacher2Teacher service

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