Empowering young people for meaningful and constructive participation in the development of South Africa.
Achieving improved results is necessary and a natural part of any focused academic trajectory, but we owe it to our learners to ensure that, throughout their primary and secondary school careers, they are given opportunities (and space) to make sense of what they learn and in so doing acquire knowledge with understanding.
Our current world and the changes coming in the future require education to prepare children for a world of rapid change in technology, increasing interconnectedness, and new forms of employment. No longer is the focus on merely acquiring content knowledge sufficient in the age of Google’s BARD and Open-AI’s ChatGPT-4. Read More
Important aspects of a meaningful approach to maths/science teaching include the following:
- Raise the level of learners’ active engagement with, and sense-making of, subject matter. Stated differently: to improve performance substantially, the culture of teaching and learning needs to be transformed from being dominantly procedural to being conceptual.
- Specifically, learners need to be led to pursue mathematics/science (with reference to real-life problems and questions) with a view to producing solutions and answers that make sense in general and to them. This means that learners need to be weaned from the predominant current learning culture of simply trying to establish what actions the teacher wants them to perform. Rather, learners need to learn pattern-seeking and logical thinking. Mathematics education can and should build these skills which can be used in every field of work out there … to think critically, gain insight and learn quickly. This approach is in direct contrast to the “rote-learning” model which seriously fails to lead learners to realize their potential and leaves them ill-equipped for meaningful participation in today’s challenging and rapidly changing work environment.
Many multiplication methods would have been taught up to this point, but the image suggests that the learner’s understanding of multiplication is still confined to counting in ones.
We owe it to our learners to ensure that they have the best chance to access and be successful in the world awaiting them. Knowing how to do things (procedural and content knowledge) will remain important. But without a deeper understanding of how things work (conceptual knowledge), our learners will find it difficult to remain relevant and gain access to the ever changing economy.
We believe that a learner’s ability to make sense and to learn with understanding can effectively be facilitated in the Mathematics classroom, equipping learners for successful and meaningful engagement in the changing world around us.