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Amanda Tame

Education 526
December 11, 2009
The evolving math classroom
EMPIRICISM The traditional classroom
PRAGMATISM Recognizing the ever-
changing world we live in
PROGRESSIVISM Teach to the whole child
CONSTRUCTIVISM Students involved in
their learning
EMPIRICISM teacher role
Teacher transmits
knowledge to student
Learning is a one-way
experience from teacher
to student
Teacher holds
authoritarian role
Teacher does the
majority of the talking
Lecture format
Textbook based
EMPIRICISM student role
Child born as blank slate
Learning happens to the
student mind is
imprinted with new
knowledge
Learning is based on
correct answers
Students take notes
Dont ask questions
Information is
memorized
EMPIRICISM My experience
This was the way my math
classes were carried out
Lecture style
Little teacher student
interaction
Notes then individual
class work
No group work or projects
This was the way I ran my
math classes!
We do what we know
EMPIRICISM Why not?
A skill base is achieved
through practice and
repetition
Students may know how to
do something without
knowing why it works or why
it is important
Passive acquisition of
knowledge does not lead to
being able to know when or
how to apply the knowledge
Problem solving and
reasoning skills are not
developed
PRAGMATISM change happens
We live in an ever-
changing world and so our
approaches should evolve
and change as well
Goal of education is
student growth
Education is not merely a
technical venture
Education should be
humanized
Students should learn why
in addition to how
Biesta & Burbules (2003)
PRAGMATISM change happens
Offered a new way to think
about how students
acquire knowledge
students are not passive
This is a philosophy of
action and interaction
the student is inherently
involved with their
environment
Students learn by
interacting with what they
are learning and with each
other
Biesta & Burbules (2003)
PRAGMATISM My experience
This year has been a year of
significant change and
growth for me:
New high school building
New curriculum
New math delivery
program
Complex Instruction
New math department
chairs
I have had to embrace the
change and learn how to
meet the needs of my
students in a new way
PRAGMATISM My experience
I needed to move out of my comfort zone and embrace a new way of
teaching
Move beyond the traditional methods I had adopted from my teachers
Our math department realized and accepted that what we were doing
was not working and that we were not being the most effective teachers
we could be
We wanted to find a new teaching method that was:
Interactive
Pushed students to learn math deeply
Had students work together in groups
Encourage creative thinking and problem solving
Embraced all ways of thinking
We discovered Complex Instruction!
We applied and received a grant to support this endeavor
All teachers did a week long training last summer
We have coaches that observe us monthly
Each content area meets weekly to plan tasks and share experiences
COMPLEX INSTRUCTION
The 7 practices of
Complex Instruction:
Multidimensionality
Roles
Assigning Competence
Teaching Responsibility
High Expectations
Effort over Ability
Learning Practices

Boaler (2006)
PROGRESSIVISM - child focused
Students understanding is the
most important thing
Students must be able to assess
their own learning as well as that
of their peers
Encourage
Responsibility for self and
others
Problem solving
Critical thinking
Learning should have value for
the student
Students should be able to
interact with their environment

Olson (2003)
PROGRESSIVISM in the classroom
Cross-curricular integration
Teacher is facilitator
Many types of materials are employed
Including manipulatives
Individual as well as group work
Students can move around the room and interact with
other students
Time is more flexible pacing is determined by
student understanding
Assessment is done more at the individual level rather
than group comparisons
Labaree (2004)
PROGRESSIVISM My experience
THINGS I HAVE EMBRACED THINGS I STRUGGLE WITH
Students understanding is very Cross-curricular integration
important
Collaborate with other depts.
Move beyond rote learning
Teacher as facilitator Students assess their own
I am not the only expert in the learning
room!
How to do this?
Encourage responsibility for self
and others Use many types of materials
Dont encourage dependence (including manipulatives)
Individual as well as group work Lack of resources, creativity?
I feel like Im finding the balance
Assessment at group and individual Student can move around the
levels room and interact with
Time is more flexible others
We have already paused and
Chaos??
revisited concepts not fully
understood
CONSTRUCTIVISM
student involvement
Learning happens when the
student interacts with their
environment
Wrong answers are a vehicle
to deeper understanding
because they trigger deeper
reflection
Students need to be
intentional about their
learning
When students challenge each
other in groups more learning
happens
Complex reasoning is an
indicator of successful
learning
CONSTRUCTIVISM
students experiences
Interdisciplinary exploration Presented with:
Collaboration amongst Materials that captures ones
students interest
Reflection Conceptual clusters Big
ideas
Self-examination
Questions are posed
Experiential learning Complex situations or
Abdal-Haqq (1998)
problems are tackled
Activities are student
centered:
Ask their own questions
Follow through on their own
experiments
Make their own conclusions
Hanley (1994)
CONSTRUCTIVISM
the role of the teacher
Teacher as a resource Support student autonomy
Everyone in the room can Relinquish classroom control
contribute Use many forms of materials
Teacher is not the only expert Manipulatives
Challenge students Games
Question previously held Activities
beliefs
Honor the discover y process
Let students needs help drive Many vehicles to get to
the lesson understanding
Allow think time
Ask for clear communication
Student understanding
If students can explain their
should help guide pacing
thinking well they have
Encourage questioning deeply learned
Ask open-ended questions
Hanley (1994)
CONSTRUCTIVISM My experience
THINGS I HAVE EMBRACED THINGS I STRUGGLE WITH
Complex situations and problems Interdisciplinary exploration
are presented to students Integrate different content
Group work areas
CI tasks Student reflection
Teacher as a resource How do I do this??
I am not the one with all of the
answers
Challenge students by
questioning their previously
Asking open-ended questions
held beliefs
Scaffold learning
Ask the right questions
Let students needs drive the
pacing Relinquish classroom control
Re-teach when necessary Still working on this
Honor the discovery process Many forms of materials
Allow for messiness while Time, money, creativity
learning
IM NOT THEREYET!
References
Abdal-Haqq, I. (1998). Constructivism in Teacher Education: Considerations for Those Who Would
Link Practice to Theory. ERIC Digest. ERIC Identifier: ED426986. Retrieved on December 11,
2009 from http://www.ericdigests.org/1999-3/theory.htm
Biesta, G. J. J. & Burbules, N. C. (2003). Pragmatism and Educational Research. Lanham, MD:
Rowman & Littlefield Publishers Inc. Retrieved on December 8, 2009 from
http://books.google.com/books?hl=en&lr=&id=U5d637yZX9YC&oi=fnd&pg=PP9&dq=pragmatis
m+education&ots=DbtrpGe7dA&sig=JSQEyP3GFqYt3bIZUK7weM16iVE#v=onepage&q=pragmati
sm%20education&f=false
Boaler, J. (2006) Opening our ideas: how a detracked mathematics approach promoted respect,
responsibility, and high achievement, Theory into Practice, 45(1), 1-11.
Hanley, S. (1994). On Constructivism. Maryland Collaborative for Teacher Preparation . Retrieved
on December 11, 2009 from http://www.inform.umd.edu/UMS+State/UMD-
Projects/MCTP/Essays/Constructivism.txt
Labaree, D. F. (2004). The Trouble with Ed Schools. USA: Yale University Press. Retrieved on
December 8, 2009 from
http://books.google.com/books?id=aDUDPnKXrqsC&pg=PA129&dq=progressivism+education&lr
=&ei=lcsiS5rqKZqIlQSL9cDNCw&cd=1#v=onepage&q=progressivism%20education&f=false
Olson, D. R. (2003). Psychological theory and educational reform: how school remakes mind and
society. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press. Retrieved on December 8, 2009 from
http://books.google.com/books?id=3LZIq2tpmtEC&pg=PP1&dq=).+++Psychological+theory+and
+educational+reform:+how+school+remakes+mind+and+society.&lr=&ei=5s4iS5DRFZv-
lATX5o3JCw&cd=1#v=onepage&q=&f=false