My Philosophy of a Constructivist Mathematics Education

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At what point does a student, in all intents and purposes, experience something mathematical? Does it symbolise a student that can remember a formula, write down symbols, see a pattern or solve a problem? I believe in enriching and empowering students’ mathematical experiences that fundamentally stems from a Piagetian genetic epistemological constructivist model that allow students to scaffold their learning through cognitive processes that are facilitated by teaching in a resource rich and collaborative environment (Thompson, 1994, p.69).
The student
Constructivist learning in mathematics should endeavour to encourage students to “construct their own mathematical knowledge through social interaction and meaningful activities
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A skilled teacher will also construct an appropriate classroom environment where students openly discuss, reflect on and make sense of tasks set before them (Clements et al, 1990). Through pedagogical constructivism (Noddings, 1990, p.14) I believe that in order to teach well, “we need to know what our students are thinking, how they produce the chain of little marks we see on their papers, and what they can do (or want to do) with the material we present to them (Noddings, 1990, p.15).” Through pedagogical constructivism, teacher should warrant the use of more effective diagnostic tools, such as understanding ways of thinking, methodical errors and misconceptions (Noddings, 1990, p.15). This is achieved by using an array of effective teaching strategies.
Justified Learning & teaching strategies to develop understanding
It is important to note that a student’s view of a subject is founded upon the experiences in which he/she is immersed in and this subsequently forms their expectations of mathematics (Knowles, 2009, p.29). The strategies that teachera employ should be both challenging but achievable and furthermore within Vygotsky’s zone of proximal development (ZPD).
“Realting is the most powerful contextual teaching strategy and is at the heart of constructivism (Crawford et al, 1999, p. 34).” This is where students draw on their own life experiences and use their prior knowledge to address a problem or question at hand. It is
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