The lesson provides a better insight into the learning and teaching of mathematics to pre-service teachers. In this case, a teacher on practice obtains a significant understanding of the learning context and teaching process that support learners’ needs as well as a foster knowledge of mathematics. As a pre-service teacher, the lesson hints at the interactions influential in attracting attention and engagement with children, incorporating the objects and the surroundings in teaching. Knowledge of the attention grabbers and objects that expand the participation and engagement of children in the learning process fosters efficiency in teaching math. The significance of personal relationships and children's interaction contributes to the mastery of the key concepts. Teachers on practice need to understand the various aspects to stimulate learning and trigger student participation and interaction with objects in fostering comprehension of key learning concepts.
Summary of Observation
The lesson highlighted indicates the application of social constructivism learning theory inferring at teacher-student interaction and artifacts in fostering understanding of math shapes. Social constructivism focusses on the learner promoting collaborative exchange among students. According to Jaworski (2002), the experience is the epicenter of knowledge in social constructivism learning theory as students build from past experiences in integrating new ideas. In this case, exposure to squares and triangles provides the basis for the development of more shapes such as trapezium. The lesson integrates various lesson components in attaining particular learning contexts that meet learning needs. The lessons involve listening and observation by students, modeling and demonstration by teacher, comparison, and consultation among the students. The learning context integrates the use of artifacts in modeling math objects into different shapes. The children are taught to make different models from basic shapes. The lesson uses squares and triangles as mathematical artifacts along with books and mathematical drawings in facilitating learning of shapes and areas in class.
The learning activity involves using existing shapes (squares and triangles) in modeling new shapes such as the trapezium. The approach base on existing knowledge in developing more advanced math concepts. The interaction amongst the students and with the teacher provides room for elaboration and explanations. The teacher poses questions elaborate on various points and engages the children in discussions to foster understanding of the basic concepts. Consultation, discussions, and comparison are the critical components of interaction that facilitates the learning process among children. According to Frias (2019), social constructivism learning theory borrows from the experiences that are effectively shared through the student interaction and teacher efforts in demonstration and establishing background knowledge from which students build a better understanding of math models.
Link to Social Constructivism Theory
As highlighted by Bozkurt (2017), social constructivism theory, the development of social worlds arise from social interactions with society and its culture. Sharing of ideas is achieved through learner interactions among learners with a diverse knowledge base. Discussions and consultations allow for the sharing of ideas from which is vital in learning based on social constructivism theory. Knowledge in math concepts is constructed from experimentation and modeling that improves the engagement with different concepts in math influencing the teaching process (Van Hover & Hicks, 2017). Triangles and squares are basic shapes from which learning of shapes and areas using shapes. Interaction with the primary artifacts (triangles and squares) provide the baseline knowledge of shapes from which other shapes can be modeled based on experience. The instructor needs to create experiences that support student participation and foster engagement that equip the student with relevant experiences and a variety of engagement strategies that support student evaluation, explanations, and applications of the math concepts learned. The models crafted increase the attention and student experiences that boost learning of math concepts. According to Vygotsky and Cole (2018), multiple approaches can be used to engage students, improve the learning environment, adopt suitable models and involvement of children's perceptions interpretations, and communicate in the teaching process.
According to social constructivism, all knowledge is developed from social interactions and language use that facilitate the sharing of ideas, a vital component of the learning process. The learner needs to actively participate in learning and creative activities as well as self-organization. An imbalance improves the learning process in the knowledge base for student interaction with math problems. Imbalance in knowledge triggers the learners’ urge to inquire about existing beliefs and try new ideas in solving math contexts. Triangles and squares provide for the fundamental knowledge base in learning shapes and areas. However, more shapes can be formed from the squares and triangles; hence, new shapes can be modeled based on the existing knowledge from interactions with shapes, creativity, and experience. Construction of a trapezium from a square and triangle indicates basic interaction between shapes in modeling new shapes. Dialogue, discussions, and consultations stimulate creativity, new ideas, and understanding of mathematical problems. In this case, learning is effected primarily through the interpretation of existing information. As indicated by Jaworski, B. (2002), social constructivism lacks a clear outline of how teaching should be done but employs models in teaching different concepts.
Discussion and Analysis
Social constructivism is a learning theory that derives its meaning from experiences and existing knowledge. The teaching process is learner-oriented and not strategy-oriented. In this light, the teaching process needs to incorporate attention grabbers to trigger student participation. However, modeling is an essential element of teaching and learning math since it improves the learner's experiences. The learning process involves the interaction of teachers with students, children with children, and students with learning artifacts. Student participation takes the form of modeling using the objects, discussions, and demonstration while the teacher facilitates explanations and scaffolding or ideas. The learning process requires the establishment of a conducive learning environment that allows for student engagement, improved interaction with a variety of artifacts, and promote comprehension of math models. The learning content and strategies need to be aligned with individual learner's needs as the theory is learner-based and not strategy-based. Therefore, good learning outcomes can be realized by integrating experiences that boost participation in learning math concepts.
Bozkurt, G. (2017). Social Constructivism: Does It Succeed in Reconciling Individual Cognition with Social Teaching and Learning Practices in Mathematics?. Journal of Education and Practice, 8(3), 210-218.
Frias, J. (2019). Improving learning experiences by using Humanism and Constructivism teaching approaches in the classroom. Philosophy of Education. T&L cert. John Wiley and Sons, 1(1), 1-5.
Jaworski, B. (2002). Social constructivism in Mathematics learning and teaching. Teaching mathematics in secondary schools: A reader, 67-81.
Van Hover, S., & Hicks, D. (2017). Social constructivism and student learning in social studies. The Wiley handbook of social studies research, 270.
Vygotsky, L., & Cole, M. (2018). Lev Vygotsky: Learning and Social Constructivism. Learning Theories for Early Years Practice, 58.
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Pre-Service Teacher Mathematics: Enhancing Learning, Engagement & Knowledge - Essay Sample. (2023, Aug 12). Retrieved from https://proessays.net/essays/pre-service-teacher-mathematics-enhancing-learning-engagement-knowledge-essay-sample
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