Narrative Essay: Personal Philosophy of Teaching Mathematics

2021-06-01 20:42:04
3 pages
730 words
Boston College
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The four main philosophies of education are perennialism, essentialism, progressivism, and reconstructionism. Perennialists believe that students should acquire education to improve their understanding regarding Western civilization, as they can help them to solve current problems. As for essentialists, there is a need to focus on certain core components to transmit knowledge in a systematic fashion. Conversely, progressivists demonstrate that education should be student-centered in the sense that the learner should be given adequate time to experiment (Santagata & Yeh, 2014). On a different note, reconstructivist educators teach with the aim of emphasizing social reforms.

My philosophy of teaching mathematics is based on the fact that the subject requires active involvement of both the learners and the tutor. In other words, the teacher should create opportunities to ensure that the students participate actively throughout. Many educators employ the progressivism approach due to the assumption that learners gain more by experimenting or learning on their own than through lectures (Kilpatrick, 2014) Feedback from the students is one of the most critical aspects of teaching mathematics. I value strong student-teacher relationships and engagements especially those that focus on improving classroom discussions. If a professor allows students to make objective evaluations concerning his methods of delivering content in the classroom, he/she might establish effective ways of teaching.

Technology is one of the greatest enablers of learning especially when teaching mathematics. Importantly, it enhances multiple representation of a particular concept or technique in an effective manner. Technological tools such as Maple computer algebra system and graphing calculators may broaden a learners understanding in the long run (Tournaki & Lyublinskaya, 2014). I believe that technology should be used strictly as a tool just like a protractor or a compass. Thus, they should have the understanding of the concept before applying technology as an aid for learning.

In addition, I believe that assessment is an important aspect in the learning process. Therefore, teachers should employ the most appropriate testing techniques to measure the gauge the level of understanding, how much they should know, and what they have already learnt (Santagata & Yeh, 2014). If a teacher addresses all of the above components, he/she is able to match the curriculum with the learning goals. I hold the view that tutors should issue periodic or continuous assessment tests to check students performance. It is important to understand that students tend to express their level of understanding of mathematics in different ways. As a consequence, it is pivotal to use multiple assessment techniques to allow students to establish innovative ways of making responses. One may use interviews, portfolios, writing assessments, and group quizzes to test understanding.

With the aim of attaining the learning purposes, there is a need for teachers to use visual aids since they create a mental picture concerning the concept or idea under discussion. Students should be willing to apply different learning tools or gadgets such as smartphones, iPads, and computers to understand mathematical concepts (Freeman, Eddy, McDonough, Smith, Okoroafor, Jordt & Wenderoth, 2014). Also, they should strive to create meaningful relationships with their peers and educators to facilitate cross-pollination of information. Although a positive relationship with the tutor in itself does not lead to improved learning outcomes, it may increase a students confidence to communicate with the instructor.

As for preparing the curriculum, I would advise teachers to use pacing guides to define the most appropriate learning method for the particular group. Since the curriculum involves a persons knowledge regarding the subject matter, it is pivotal to understand past, present, and future concepts (Erickson, Lanning & French, 2017). I believe that a good curriculum should match the classroom instructions of teaching mathematics.


Erickson, H. L., Lanning, L. A., & French, R. (2017). Concept-based curriculum and instruction

for the thinking classroom. Corwin Press.

Freeman, S., Eddy, S. L., McDonough, M., Smith, M. K., Okoroafor, N., Jordt, H., &

Wenderoth, M. P. (2014). Active learning increases student performance in science, engineering, and mathematics. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 111(23), 8410-8415

Kilpatrick, J. (2014). History of research in mathematics education. InEncyclopedia of

mathematics education (pp. 267-272). Springer Netherlands

Santagata, R., & Yeh, C. (2014). Learning to teach mathematics and to analyze teaching

effectiveness: Evidence from a video-and practice-based approach. Journal of Mathematics Teacher Education, 17(6), 491-514

Tournaki, N., & Lyublinskaya, I. (2014). Preparing special education teachers for teaching

mathematics and science with technology by integrating the TPACK framework into the curriculum: A study of teachers perceptions.Journal of Technology and Teacher Education, 22(2), 243-259

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