Pre-Course Reading

Teaching
mathematics has always been a challenging task for all mathematics teachers as
the subject fundamental basis is on numerical logic. Thus in expounding this
intricate subject to the very young pre-schoolers, primary, secondary, junior
college and tertiary level have undergone much study and research to make
teaching of this subject systematic and comprehensible even in the teaching of complex mathematical theories.

One
of the most important features of principles and standards for school
mathematics is the articulation of six principles fundamental to high-quality
mathematics education:

·
Equity

·
Curriculum

·
Teaching

·
Learning

·
Assessment

·
Technology

The
equity principle is that all students must have the opportunity and adequate
support to learn mathematics regardless of background, physical challenges or
characteristics.

The
curriculum should be more than just a collection of activities, it must be
coherent and focused on important mathematics and well articulate to the
students. It may not be far from the truth that one can study to be a
mathematics genius but one may not be a genius in teaching mathematics. In
summary, not all mathematics teachers make good teachers.

To
provide high quality mathematics teaching, teachers must deeply understand the
content they are teaching; understand how students learn mathematics and the
awareness each student’s mathematical development; select meaningful
instructional and strategies that will enhance learning.

The
learning principle is that students must learn with understanding and be able
to build knowledge from experience and prior knowledge. Students must be taught
to think and reason mathematically to solve new problem as “scaffolding of
mathematical knowledge” can be said to be the a good measure of successful
teaching.

Assessment
is an important tool in the teaching of mathematics as from the data collected,
teachers are able to have solid gauge of the students’ progress and to make
decisions and necessary strategic changes to support learning.

The
application of mathematics can be seen where the generating of strategies for
solving problems in the classroom can be translated to the application to real
life situations.

Two
theories, namely constructivism and sociocultural theory are most commonly used
by researchers in mathematics education to understand how students learn. The
aforementioned learning theories are not teaching tools in the education of mathematics
but rather they provide an understanding on how learning takes place and this
form a reliable framework for the teaching of mathematics. For example,
constructivism might explain explicitly how a student internalize an idea while
sociocultural theory would be a better tool for analyzing influence of the
social/cultural aspects of the classroom.