Maths teachers have been plagued and ruled by the monster called ‘syllabus completion’. We are totally aware of the scenario in the beginning of a term when the Maths department sits down to ‘fix’ the syllabus for the year, then break it down to months, weeks and days.

In the process the teachers do not have the luxury of allowing the students to discover Maths through inquiry and by making ‘mistakes’. In our hurry we like to quickly give away the answers to the students and explain (hence the absolute need of the chalk and board) the process to arrive at the answer, complete their classwork and submit for correction, followed by the most important part of assigning homework. So, this way we manage to acquaint our students to whole lot of concepts but minus any in-depth understanding and application of the same.

Most of the assessments done at the primary and middle school levels are internal. The performance of the students at these formative and summative assessments may not reveal their learning at all the levels and skills.

One of the main aspects of the PISA conducted by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) is to test the level of meta-cognition skill of the students. PISA –

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Programme_for_International_Student_Assessment

India’s participation in PISA has been quite disastrous. http://www.thequint.com/opinion/2015/07/02/indias-pisa-moment-are-we-turning-into-a-nation-of-nitwits

The aim of developing the right thinking routines in our students works better in growth of their long term learning abilities. This would give them the important quantitative and qualitative tools to understand the world and their role in it. Meta-cognition skill requires students to monitor and direct thinking, for this they need to first observe and then reflect upon their thinking. When a student is able to understand his or her own pattern of thinking which takes him/her away from the correct solutions in Maths and then change it, we can say that we have done our job well in creating life long learners. Apart from adopting the thinking routines followed world wide by the Maths teachers, we may need to figure out our ways, given the conditions available in our schools and other factors like number of students, availability of Maths labs etc.

Please read more on meta-cognition in Maths  http://www.greatmathsteachingideas.com/2013/07/23/metacognition-thoughts-on-teaching-mathematical-problem-solving-skills/

I would like to share one video of one such session which we had with students of Grade 9 on a PISA question. What is interesting to note that it is not compulsorily required to use a formula to answer this question and the students are sharing their way of solving the question given below –

PISA

 

 

By Ranjani Mitra – Educational Specialist

(Member of Mindspark Development Team)

 

Ranjani Mitra

Ranjani Mitra

Teaching experience of 22 years and working as a Senior Education Specialist with the Mindspark Development team. I love music, reading books and watching movies. I practice Transcendental Mediation and
Reiki for spiritual growth.
Ranjani Mitra

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