Bringing joy and success to classes through student-centred teaching of mathematics

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Learning objectives To create interest in and passion for learning and teaching primary and junior secondary school mathematics. To develop a commitment to and persistence in deepening mathematical and mathematical pedagogical knowledge. To look for and recognise student engagement in mathematics. To be able to discuss attributes of a caring student-centred approach to teaching mathematics. To plan lessons and teaching experiences using a student-centred approach. Introduction A sense of service to community and a desire to make a difference in young people’s lives typically characterise people’s reasons for deciding to become a teacher. These objectives signify that prospective and practising teachers care about their students and are focused on enabling their students to learn and achieve their aspirations. Prospective teachers acknowledge that in the primary years of schooling lie the foundational knowledge, skills and learning behaviours necessary for lifelong learning, with each primary teacher working with their students across the broad range of disciplinary, social and cultural fields of knowledge. The student-focused assumption of primary teachers’ practice is revealed in the common saying that ‘primary teachers teach students while secondary teachers teach subjects’. But what does this actually mean? And is it true? How do primary teachers maintain a focus on the student while engaging him or her in particular fields of learning such as mathematics? How do secondary teachers of mathematics focus their attention on the students and their learning in mathematics classrooms? In this chapter original research and practice conducted by the authors are examined in tandem with the work of other researchers and teachers to examine and explain what it means to engage students in mathematical thinking and to teach mathematics using a student-centred approach.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationEngaging the Disengaged
Subtitle of host publicationInclusive Approaches to Teaching the Least Advantaged
EditorsTarquam McKenna, Marcelle Cacciattolo, Mark Vicars
Place of PublicationCambridge UK
PublisherCambridge University Press
Number of pages19
ISBN (Electronic)9781107300910
ISBN (Print)9781107627987
Publication statusPublished - 2013
Externally publishedYes

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