Characteristics Of A Productive Mathematics Classroom

1270 WordsApr 12, 20176 Pages
Introduction Australian students, in particular those in lower secondary schools, have been found to be disengaged from mathematics learning, leading to a reduction in the number of mathematics students in senior secondary schools and universities (Mack & Walsh, 2013, as cited in Buckley, 2013, p.2; National Curriculum Board [NCB], 2009, p.9; Australian National Numeracy Review Report, 2008, as cited in NCB, 2009, p.10). Such disengagement, together with unsatisfactory achievement and anxiety about the subject, could to a certain extent be attributed to an ineffective teaching environment and teacher instruction (Buckley, 2013, p.1; Yang, 2013, p.274). The writer of this paper will discuss six observable characteristics in a productive…show more content…
2. Collaborative Moreover, collaborative work should comprise a significant portion of the learning activities. Marshman and Brown (2014, p.72) describes mathematics learning as a “social process”, in that the students’ thought, level of motivation and sense of safety are all mutually affected by one another in the classroom. Therefore, students will naturally participate in some group work in class. The Australian Curriculum, for example, expects them to be capable of presenting their way of thinking during the learning process and justifying their answers (ACARA, n.d.b), during which an exchange of ideas between students is possible. This aligns with Vygotsky’s sociocultural theory, which suggests students progress in learning when they obtain assistance from those who are more capable, including their peers (Mercer & Fisher, 1992, as cited in Goos, 1999, p.6). Thus, collaborative learning provides students with the opportunities to learn from one another through discussion, problem-solving and even debate, and is an important attribute of a productive mathematics classroom. 3. Inclusive A productive and engaging classroom should also be differentiated to give equal learning opportunities to students of varied abilities, learning paces and preferences (ACARA, n.d.d). In a typical
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