A blog for concerned math educators from across NJ with respect to the state's mathematics standards and the NJDOE math task force.
Friday, May 1, 2009
The anti-reformists often point to Singapore for as their hope for America. However, they do so without any knowledge of the reform methodologies (that the anti-reformists hate) which are prevalent in Singapore. The article below highlights the constructivist nature of Singaporean mathematics classes.
Knowledge Application—Students are to learn basic research skills, apply and transferknowledge and skills learnt across disciplines and to make connections between them.
Communication—Students are to improve their ability to communicate ideas clearly andeffectively in both written and oral modes.
Collaboration—Students are to develop and improve social skills in collaborating withothers towards a common goal (students usually work in groups of 4–5).
Independent learning—Students are to learn to take charge of and monitor their ownlearning as well as to develop a positive attitude and responsibility towards their work.
The learners are responsible for their own learning. They take charge of their learningand are self-regulated. They deﬁne learning goals and tackle issues that are meaningfulto them. They know how the learning activities they undertake relate to the goals. Theydevelop their own standards of excellence.
The learners are strategic in their learning process. They know how to learn, develop andreﬁne their learning. They can apply and transfer the knowledge generated creatively.
The learners collaborate with others. They understand that learning is social. They recognise that different people can have different views about the same issue and the multiplepoints of view can enrich the learning process.
The learners are energised throughout the learning process. They derive excitement andpleasure from learning. They ﬁnd learning fulﬁlling.
Construction of knowledge (not just transmission of knowledge): in the new teachingand learning processes, students are able to develop their own knowledge base, pullinginformation from many sources and making linkages, instead of waiting for the teachersto push information to them.
Understanding (not just memory): students know what they are doing rather than justmemorising facts or applying methodologies that do not make sense to them.
Pedagogy (not just activity): in the new TLLM paradigm, teachers do not merely carryout activities for the sake of having activities, but each activity is a part of a well thought-through pedagogy that will bring students to a higher level of understanding or appreciation.