My Mathematics Philosophy

Essay by AshleyOSU December 2004

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My Mathematics Philosophy

        How did you get that answer? Why? Can you get the same answer another way? These are important questions for all math educators to ask. I believe that encouraging autonomy is one of the most important things that a teacher can do. According to Piaget, the aim of education must be to develop the child's autonomy, which is indissociably social, moral, and intellectual (Kamii, 21). Without autonomous learners, our classrooms would be made up of memorization of formulas and procedures, which is detrimental and can short circuit learning (Reynolds, 25). Educators have a great impact on children, not only for the year they have the children in class, but hopefully for the rest of their lives.

        It is my belief that the principles and standards from the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM) should be met in every classroom. The standards present goals in the mathematical areas of number and operations, algebra, geometry, measurement, and data analysis and probability.

The five process standards are problem solving, reasoning and proof, connections, communication, and representation (NCTM, 6). Teachers must incorporate the ten standards to have an effective mathematics classroom. I think that students learn by being involved and using hands- on activities. Children must do the math, not sit back and watch while the teacher does it. The students should be engaged throughout a lesson, they should not be lectured to.

        My classroom environment will be comfortable and laid back. The students will be in groups discussing their mathematical thinking to one another. I will continually ask questions such as the ones that I posed earlier. The room will be noisy and messy at times. I will have various manipulatives for students to choose from. Cubes, buttons, pattern blocks, and bingo chips are just a few manipulatives that...