The Development of Mathematical Understanding in Students

If students are not developing their relationship between their previous and current knowledge, then it might be possible that the students are not able to develop the habit of working independently. Under such situations, where the mathematical talks are not emphasized, the lectures are usually teacher-centered. As a result, the thinking and the concept are not supported among the students. To enhance the thinking ability of the students, teachers have to design the classes that are interactive and give students a chance to express their personal opinion about the subject. In a research conducted by Wickham (2008), it is suggested that in order to practice effective mathematics learning, it is not necessary to teach children about the precise or longer words of mathematics. However, if the children were given more chances to speak up about mathematics, it would surely be increasing their understanding of the subject. Later during the lessons when they would be exposed to the precise vocabulary of the subject, they can use those terms in their discussion. In this research, it is also suggested that in order to promote talks and discussions in mathematics, teachers have to design tasks in a unique way, that is, instead of solving mathematical problems in an old monotonous manner, they should introduce some changes in their teaching techniques. For example, instead of solving problems on a number of worksheets using dry calculations, teachers should give them challenging tasks that would be done in the groups or on the computers. During this practice, the class would be divided into small groups, that would solve the problems by discussion. Thus, when the groups are discussing and solving a certain problem, automatically talking in mathematics is promoted. Hiebert explains in his book, Making Sense, Teaching and Learning Mathematics With Understanding, The Learning of Mathematics, Through Discussion in These Words If you would like students to understand, then be sure they are reflecting on what they are doing and communicating (1997). This is why it is important to value talk in mathematics. This technique helps the children to give their own reflection about the concept. Instead of accepting the ideas as they are, the sense of exploring the concepts through different ways can develop new understanding about the topic.