The teaching of mathematics should NOT be about the getting of answers

This is one of my soapbox themes.

I was very pleased to be pointed towards this video of US educationalist Phil Daro talking against the teaching of mathematics as answer getting. Well worth the 17 minutes.

Enjoy and show as many maths teachers as you can!


About Linda

I have been involved in secondary mathematics education in Victoria, Australia for over 25 years.
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2 Responses to The teaching of mathematics should NOT be about the getting of answers

  1. Elliot says:

    Hi Linda,
    Phil Daro mentioned something in his speech that really resonated with me – “that the curriculum in U.S. states is “a mile wide and an inch deep”: trying to teach too many topics per year leads to spending too little time per topic, too little time per problem.”
    Each year I struggle with the external pressure to finish units ‘on time.’ For me it is the most stressful part of being a Maths teacher. I often have to make a choice as to how best I can teach my students how to ‘get the right answer’, rather than help them to ‘understand’ the maths they are learning because of these time restraints. It often takes students a long time to make sense of a new concept – time that we often don’t have.

    How do you deal with the tension between time and making sure students understand the Maths throughout the year?

    Thanks for taking the time to write your reflections on your blog. I really enjoy reading them.

    Thanks so much, Elliot.

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