Sunteți pe pagina 1din 5

Philosophy Statement

Why do we teach mathematics?

Abby Washington

EDCR331

7540434

Mathematics plays a large role in our New Zealand curriculum, interlinking with all curriculum areas. Not only is it important for all teachers to be able identify and explain how and why we teach mathematics to all learners, it is also crucial that children know the reasons behind their learning. Teaching mathematics to children from a young age builds up a foundation of knowledge that they can apply to the community and world they live in.

Teaching mathematics includes two important aspects: content and pedagogy. Content is the “intellectual integrity of the subject” (Jorgensen & Dole, 2011, p.6). This is where the students apply and appreciate mathematics being provided with rich learning experiences. This means children can make links to other curriculum areas and their world beyond school. Pedagogy relates to developing supportive environments, having a culturally responsive lense, respecting and incorporating all cultures.

As mathematics teachers we must create learning experiences where children can acknowledge how mathematical content is transferred over to the ‘real world’. Teaching mathematics from a young age provides children with a range of strategies that apply to context out of school. Teaching mathematics equips children for life beyond the classroom environment, developing children’s thinking and problem-solving abilities.

What are the characteristics of effective mathematics teaching? There are many characteristics that contribute towards being an effective teacher of mathematics. These characteristics are crucial to being an effective mathematics teacher. These characteristics allow teachers to create a learning environment where all learners can gain a quality understanding. Teachers have a powerful influence over how and what students learn. Through providing the appropriate learning environment in which the content and pedagogy match the background, needs and interests of individual students, all students can learn mathematics (Jorgensen & Dole, 2011). Teachers need to know their learners on an individual level being able to identify how each individual learns best. An effective mathematics teacher will know the preferred teaching approach that suits each child. Teachers should adapt their teaching styles to cater for the needs of all children. Some children require visual representations and hands on activities to progress new key

Abby Washington

EDCR331

7540434

mathematical ideas. Knowing the needs of all learners also requires choosing an appropriate learning environment for all learners. Teachers will make the appropriate decisions on wether to teach their classroom in groupings or as a full classroom. An effective teacher will make this decision based on the environment that will best fit the learners in the classroom. Groupings can be used to cater for specific achievement levels, learning styles and interest groups (Jorgensen & Dole, 2011). I believe whole classroom teaching is most effective when introducing new learning that is appropriate for all learners. Effective mathematics teachers will provide children with a range of activities to transfer new key mathematical ideas to a deeper understanding. Every individual learns in different ways and progresses at varying stages. Effective mathematics teachers will monitor the learning of each child, making on-going formative assessments on how well the children are progressing. Monitoring children’s learning will allow teachers to identify which children need more support.

One of the most important influences on the children’s learning is having teacher that believe all students can learn mathematics. Creating an effective classroom community means teachers care about all students engagement. Building relationships through the development of self and others, incorporating aspects of other cultures in mathematics is important. Teachers need to establish caring relationships with all learners at the beginning of the new school year. These relationships will transfer into mathematics meaning children feel respected and valued. This will allow children to be working in a safe respected learning environment. This will create a learning environment were all children are confident in giving answers ago showing their mathematical ideas.

Having an understanding of the theories that underpin how students learn in mathematics enable teachers to develop good practice that both supports and enhanced students learning. Having a strong theoretical basis of their work means teachers in mathematics can understand how students learn. This means that teachers are able to re organise learning in ways that enhances the capacity for learning (Jorgensen & Dole, 2011).

For effective mathematics teaching to happen in a classroom the teacher needs to use mathematical language effectively, having a deep understanding of the mathematics they are teaching. This means having a clear understanding of the key concepts for all areas of mathematics. Part of the challenge

Abby Washington

EDCR331

7540434

in understanding mathematics is learning the specific language of mathematics. This means teachers

need to pay particular attention to teaching the language of mathematics (Jorgensen & Dole, 2011).

If teachers are well aware of potential problematic areas, teachers will be better able to organise

effective learning environments for all students. This allows includes teachers having a culturally responsive lense to teaching as this is particularly important when considering students who’s first language isn’t English.

A characteristic of an effective teacher is using questioning as a basis for teaching. When used

appropriately, it enables students to be actively engaged, providing teachers with valuable information for where the children’s current knowledge is at making formative judgements. The ability to ask effective questions will promote higher-order thinking ( Jorgensen & Dole, 2011).

How can the mathematics program be linked to the wider community, including parents? Having parental support in your mathematics program is important for your learners to succeed to

the best of their abilities in mathematics. Teachers need to create relationships with wh ānau through communicating regularly, setting up meetings where appropriate. Family needs to be informed of their child’s progression using appropriate language / terms they can understand. Working together

wh ānau, children, and teachers can set achievable goals for children. Through effective

communication families and wh ānau will have knowledge of the curriculum and assessment activities. Establishing these relationships will create a home learning environment between parents and children. If families are aware of the direction of their child’s mathematics program, they can support and extend this learning at home. This is beneficial in “bridging the centre-home community divide” (Anthony & Walshaw, 2007, 44). The mathematics program has a range of potential learning experiences that can be linked to the wider community. I believe students learn best when learning activities are practical, relating to the world we learn in. Teachers need to show links between key mathematical ideas and the community the children live in. Tamariki need to be shown how mathematics links to their world, as children learn best when learning is relevant to them.

References used.

Abby Washington

EDCR331

7540434

G, Anthony., & Walshaw, M. (2007). Effective Pedagogy in Mathematics/ Pāngarau Best Evidence Synthesis Iteration. Wellington, New Zealand: Ministry of Education.

Jorgensen, R. & Dole, S. (2011). Teaching Mathematics in Primary Schools 2nd Edition. Crows Nest NSW: Allen & Unwin.

Four goals for on-going professional development.

Abby Washington

EDCR331

7540434

1. Knowing my learners - have a deeper understanding of children’s prior knowledge and

abilities before implementing a unit.

2. Continue to make on-going formative judgements for all learners. Use a range of

assessment tools to measure SLO’s.

3. Provide children will hands on activities to reinforce speci\ic learning Eliminate all ‘work

sheets’.

4. Further develop the ability to use formative assessments to make appropriate adaptations during lessons.