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Adam Marcus

Annotated Bibliography

Felton, M. (2014). Why Teach Mathematics?. Retrieved from

http://www.nctm.org/Publications/Mathematics-Teaching-in-Middle-School/Blog/Why-

Teach-Mathematics_/

Written by someone for the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics, this article
clearly has some bias on the side of teaching math; however, they also are able to provide
some valuable information since they are experienced in the field. The author states that.
in general, according to things like Common Core standards, math is taught because it is
a beautiful and amazing human accomplishment and also so that students are prepared
for college and future careers. The author, a college mathematics professor, personally
believes that students should study math because it allows them to appreciate diversity
in human thinking and see the role of mathematics in their daily lives. While this
perspective on the question of why we teach mathematics is clearly one-sided, it does
provide some insight into what educators think on the subject. One more thing it brings
up is two perspectives on why math is taught: the classical perspective and the equitable-
curriculum perspective.

Glover, D., Miller, D., Averis, D., & Door, V. (2007). The evolution of an effective pedagogy for

teachers using the interactive whiteboard in mathematics and modern languages: An

empirical analysis from the secondary sector. Learning, Media and Technology, 32(1), 5-

20.

This article deals with interactive whiteboards (IWB) and their effectiveness in the
classroom, and while this may not be immediately applicable to all classrooms, as many
dont have an IWB, it could easily be applicable in the future. What IWBs allow is for
teachers to engage the students and command their attention in a way that lecturing
cannot. They are much more engaged in the material and as a result are able to grasp it
quicker and more effectively. The article claims that teachers must also be sure they are
using technology correctly and in addition to proper teaching styles. They name the most
effective method of using an IWB as enhanced interactivity, as it allows for the best
learning experience for the students. It also allows for much more variation in lessons
taught by the teachers, encouraging interest through kinesthetic learning by the students.
IWBs could be an important tool for future education of mathematics students, as it will
help to engage and spark the students interest more.

Haran, Brady. (2014, Jan 19). Why do people hate mathematics?. Retrieved

from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yexc19j3TjE
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This video is all about why people hate mathematics, and it gives several real life
examples and relevant analogies which are easy to understand. He gives examples of
where math is seen in the real world and how important awareness of this is. He is then
asked the question of why it matters that we understand the underlying mathematics of
several things, to which he responds that it is a part of our culture and we must therefore
recognize how it is both used and misused. Additionally, he talks about why people hate
it in school and makes a great analogy connecting math and art. Not everyone loves art,
but when someone says art, they recognize the famous masterpieces and know where and
how to find them. The same is not true at all for math. He also places the blame for this
not on teachers but on mathematicians for not doing enough to expose great mathematical
ideas to the public.

Lloyd, C. (2016). Does our approach to teaching math fail even the smartest kids?. Retrieved

from http://www.greatschools.org/gk/articles/why-americas-smartest-students-fail-math/

In this article, they talk about how math isnt just solving the same problems with
different numbers. This article; however, stresses the importance of teaching creative
problem solving in math before a student begins college. It gives some anecdotes and
references an expert in the field, Richard Rusczyk, while claiming that the most common
way math is taught by high school teachers is through simple repetition of the same
problems they know how to do. What it suggests is rather that students should be
exposed to some new problems and allowed to struggle with them to solve them before
being given a clear system for answering a question of the type, as this kind of problem
solving will allow them to transition from high school to college and real world math
easily.

Mann, E. L. (2006). Creativity: The essence of mathematics. Journal for the Education of the

Gifted, 30(2), 236-260.

A bit more technical and lengthy, this literature review focuses on why creativity is
essential for nurturing a love of mathematics in our schools. It also operationally defines
creativity so that it is useful in this context. It states that students leave schools with
adequate computational skills but are severely lacking in creativity within mathematics in
terms of problem solving. Also in its operational definition of creativity it talks about not
only testing hypotheses and coming up with results but also becoming sensitive to
problems, finding gaps in knowledge, and recognizing missing elements. This article has
a strong foundation for creativity within mathematics.

Nardi, E., & Steward, S. (2003). Is mathematics TIRED? A profile of quiet disaffection in the

secondary mathematics classroom. British Educational Research Journal, 29(3), 345-

366.
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Through a series of several interviews, the researchers are able to determine that a
common theme among students is that they do math in school mostly out of a sense of
professional obligation and under school or parental pressure. As a result, they do not
enjoy it at all and it becomes tedious and uninteresting to them. The cause of these
feelings, according to this study is the way that they learn material: through rote
memorization and practice. In agreement with previous research that creative problem
solving over rote memorization and practice, this study concludes that the current
methods result in math seeming invariable and isolated, having no real world
applications that they need to know. In reality, it is quite the opposite. Mathematics is an
essential part of every adults life in some way, but our current educational system does
not show students that. It drills the processes and problems they should know to the point
where students simply do not enjoy solving a tougher problem because they have done
the same thing so many times. Instead they must be shown where a new concept will be
seen in the real world and must be allowed to think creatively on their own first when
solving problems.

Panitz, T. (1999). Collaborative versus Cooperative Learning: A Comparison of the Two

Concepts Which Will Help Us Understand the Underlying Nature of Interactive Learning.

This article begins by defining both collaborative and cooperative learning. It states that
collaborative learning is more of a personal philosophy rather than a classroom practice,
while cooperative learning is a process in which individuals work together to accomplish
a common goal. Based off of other research, cooperative learning is one effective
method for education in math classrooms and allows for a decent amount of creativity;
however, this article claims that it is much more teacher centered compared to a
collaborative learning philosophy. It also includes the idea of knowledge construction,
the idea in cognitive psychology that students build their knowledge base by connecting
new ideas with old concepts that they have already learned. This idea is very applicable
in mathematics education because every different subject in school will build off of the
skills that students learn in previous years, particularly algebra. According to the article,
one way teachers can encourage this is through things like open ended questions, and
collaborative learning would help them with knowledge construction even more.

Standards for Mathematical Practice. (2017). Retrieved from

http://www.corestandards.org/Math/Practice/

The ideas expressed matched up with most of the ideal learning conditions found in other
sources. Common Core standards seem to have real world application and creative
problem solving at their center, but execution of these ideas is clearly lacking in our
education. While I originally thought it was something that inherently held back students
in mathematics, it strives to do quite the opposite. However, in reality, even though
Common Core envisions mathematics education to follow what they believe, the sheer
amount of material that it tasks teachers with passing on to their students can interfere
with the teachers ability to follow ideal educational procedures for mathematics. They
recognize that real world application and creative problem solving are essential to a
Adam Marcus

mathematics education suited to all students, but fail to make that a realistic expectation
as the teachers must also cover all of the material provided by Common Core within a
year of education.

Usher, E. L. (2009). Sources of middle school students self-efficacy in mathematics: A

qualitative investigation. American Educational Research Journal, 46(1), 275-314.

This article was a study about self-efficacy in mathematics among middle school
students. It qualitatively looks at several students and determines that self-efficacy
applies strongly to their mathematical abilities: those who had higher self-efficacy
reported higher achievement in math and those who had lower self-efficacy reported
lower achievement in math. One thing that it did note was that of the students who
reported higher achievement, only one attributed that success to the environment, saying
that her teacher made it easier to understand. This leads me to believe that most students
dont think its their environment that is making math difficult, but rather that they are
just bad at it, becoming a self-fulfilling prophecy. It also stated that when students have
mastered skills, accomplished difficult tasks, or generally see their performances as
successful, they develop a strong sense of confidence in their own self-efficacy. The
article even supports the belief that the way they are taught must be changed, as it states
that teachers should make sure to maximize the opportunity for authentic mastery
experiences which require ingenuity rather than simple, repetitive busy work.

Zakaria, E., Chin, L. C., & Daud, M. Y. (2010). The effects of cooperative learning on students

mathematics achievement and attitude towards mathematics. Journal of social sciences,

6(2), 272-275.

This article focused on a different method to spark students interest in mathematics:


cooperative learning. It found that cooperative learning increased both achievement and
positive attitude towards mathematics in students, citing that cooperative learning made
them a part of the learning process. As a result, the authors recommended that teachers
make sure to master the content they are teaching and also switch from a teacher-
centered to a student-centered focus in the classroom. The study did make sure to
include that achievement and attitude, while they dont determine each other, are very
closely related for mathematics students. They also stated that the reason cooperative
learning increases students attitude towards mathematics is likely because they can
depend on their peers for help if they need it, leading to more self-confidence when
solving problems.