What was your question?

Okay, so a typical math tutoring/ helping a student situation for me goes something like this:

Me: (casually walking around classroom while students work on assignment, waiting for someone to raise their hand and ask for help.)

Student: (raises hand) Is this right?

Me: What do mean?

Student: Did I get the right answer?

Me: I don’t know, walk me through your steps……

So, yes, I have taken a multitude of mathemagical classes. Yes, if I looked at their problem for a couple of seconds I could probably figure out if it was correct or not. And Yes, it is always nice to know if you got a problem right, but as a teacher what answer do I give. I have spent a lot of time discussing and thinking about process versus product questions. When I am teaching or discussing a lesson, we are supposed to be asking questions that stimulate thinking, not just asking a student what they got on problem 73. Students need to learn to ask better questions as well. A teacher needs to encourage them to want to understand a concept not a formula for rightness. When discussing social justice, I believe the same ideals come into play. What I mean by this is that the students who are the most successful in mathematics, especially on tests designed to test their higher order thinking skills, are the ones who understand the concepts, and the whys and hows. Not the students who can only plug in a formula. So, in a classroom that has a teacher who promotes social justice, these students will learn about the whats, whys, and hows or social INjustice. This will help better prepare them for the real world/ work-place. A student who can learn about problems and problem-solving, is a student who can help make the word better.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s