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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