Today’s blog post focuses on Chapter 7 from Tony Bates’ textbook on Pedagogical Differences Between the Media. My personal take on the topic will focus on how Math was taught to me as a student and how I can evolve my own Math teachings now and in the future.
Back in my Day…
When I was in high school (so long ago it seems), Math was taught the same way every time. The teacher stood in front of a chalkboard, or a whiteboard (this counted as innovation in our time). Here the teacher would do 4-5 examples and then assign further questions from the textbook. This was a common teaching method and thankfully, it worked well for me. My learning style matched up very well with this way of teaching and therefore I was successful.
Because I was taught math in this traditional method, I often tend to teach it this way myself. I have not looked to evolve as much as I should.
As Bates states, this method of paper and textbooks gives a high suitability for independent analysis, however he also notes that it is far less useful for showing processes. The textbook allows the student who already understands the content to push themselves further with more difficult and engaging questions. But what about the students who still do not understand the content when the teacher’s lesson is finished?
A Vision for the Future…
I believe the biggest area for growth in my own math teaching is through the use of video. As Bates states, a strength of videos is the ability to stop and start, allowing students to progress at their own speed. While there is still definitely a need for traditional instruction, watching videos such as Khan Academy (example shown below), allows the students to hear the explanation from a different voice in perhaps a different method.
As a teacher, I do not care how the students come to acquire the knowledge, instead I just want them to be comfortable with the concepts and able to apply them on their own.
It is my pledge to begin to use more technology in my math classroom, in hopes of providing another medium for the students to acquire the necessary knowledge.
In the comments, I would love to hear from fellow math teachers, how do you integrate technology into your classes?