Teaching Mathematics Through Problem Solving

Teaching Mathematics Through Problem Solving-80
Although the teacher needs to be very much present, the primary focus in the class needs to be on the students’ thinking processes.”Students need to have opportunities to work on complex tasks rather than a series of simple tasks devolved from a complex task.This is important for stimulating the students’ mathematical reasoning and building durable mathematical knowledge (Anthony and Walshaw, 2007).

Although the teacher needs to be very much present, the primary focus in the class needs to be on the students’ thinking processes.”Students need to have opportunities to work on complex tasks rather than a series of simple tasks devolved from a complex task.This is important for stimulating the students’ mathematical reasoning and building durable mathematical knowledge (Anthony and Walshaw, 2007).

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Those students who think math is all about the “correct” answer will need support and encouragement to take risks.

Tolerance of difficulty is essential in a problem-solving disposition because being “stuck” is an inevitable stage in resolving just about any problem.

By the time young children enter school they are already well along the pathway to becoming problem solvers.

From birth, children are learning how to learn: they respond to their environment and the reactions of others.

Teachers who get this right create resilient problem solvers who know that with perseverance they can succeed.

Problems need to be within the students’ “Zone of Proximal Development” (Vygotsky 1968).

Mathematics education is important not only because of the “gatekeeping role that mathematics plays in students’ access to educational and economic opportunities,” but also because the problem-solving processes and the acquisition of problem-solving strategies equips students for life beyond school (Cobb, & Hodge, 2002).

The importance of problem-solving in learning mathematics comes from the belief that mathematics is primarily about reasoning, not memorization.

Through these social interactions, students feel that they can take risks, try new strategies, and give and receive feedback.

They learn cooperatively as they share a range of points of view or discuss ways of solving a problem.

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