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How do you help develop mathematical curiosity?

A recent New York Times article talks about how to fall in love with math. Related to this issue is how to develop mathematical curiousity in your students as a math teacher. In no particular order, these are some of my suggestions.

The Teaching Gap

In the fall of 1994, after several months of watching tapes, the project staff met to present some preliminary impressions and interpretations. We invited distinguished researchers and educators from Germany, Japan, and the United States to attend, and we listened intently to what they had to say. We were ready for a fresh perspective. It came late on the last day of the meeting. One of the participants, a professor of mathematics education, had been relatively silent throughout the day.

Balance puzzle

What is developmentally appropriate?

My son programming
(This is my son learning how to program in Turtle Art, at age 4)

As educators, we give work to students based on what we consider to be developmentally appropriate, and what we feel they have the capacity to learn, which then helps them develop exactly in the ways we expect. Isn't this a bit of cyclical reasoning?

Why am I using LinkedIn anyway?

I don't see what value, if any, my time spent managing my LinkedIn profile has given me. I have nearly 1000 connections on the site now, but I have only used it to contact people a few times, and people have only used it a few times to contact me. They could have contacted me in a bunch of other ways, through sites that I use much more frequently.

Questions to ask while problem solving

I'm working on a set of possible questions one can ask their students (and teach their students to ask themselves) while they are problem solving in math. Note that these questions are related to the work of George Pólya from his book How to Solve It.

What would you add?

 

Questions to ask during problem solving

What are your assumptions?

Pseudoteaching and the Edutainer

I recently came across Frank Noschese and John Burk's collection of posts on Pseudoteaching. In Frank and John's words:

Mathematical mistakes

(Image base created by Curran Kelleher)

 

Questions

Importance of questions

Questions, both those asked by teachers and those asked by students, are an essential part of education. Questions can act as goals for learning, and motivate student curiousity about what they are learning. All teachers can attest to the fact that students who feel motivated to learn will learn much more effectively and much more deeply than students who lack motivation.

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