Monday, November 9, 2009

Getting students to really understand...

From Research In Practice, a great thought for all teachers:

Take-home lesson: never underestimate your ability to fool yourself into believing your students understand something when really what they are doing is watching you. To force them to engage the material it is often necessary to restrict their access to you or systematically confound the signals they get from you.

I think this is a central issue for modern math teachers. We need to explicitly develop ways of question-posing and interacting with our classes and individual students that hide or disguise our intentions for how they are supposed to respond. This needs to be part of the core training of math teachers, much more than it already is.

This is central to developing actual thinking in our students. Students have much practice in picking up clues from the teacher in order to arrive at right answers. This does not mean that they understand. Give them less in order to work and understand more.


  1. This whole being less helpful business is just getting more and more support! I read the Research in Practice post on the weekend and I can say that it has definitely affected how I interact with students. It really is hard not to give them a bone and just let them wrestle with the problem posed.

  2. It was rather interesting for me to read the post. Thanx for it. I like such themes and everything that is connected to this matter. I definitely want to read a bit more soon.

  3. Hi,
    It's an interesting theme to work on. I feel it's more effective if, implemented correctly
    Custom Essay Writing

  4. Hi,
    It was a very nice idea! Just want to say thank you for the information you have shared.

    Custom Assignment

  5. Hi,
    This is really a nice post, you share good piece of information.

    Dissertation Writer

  6. Hi,
    Really nice post! Thanks for sharing such an informative article. Keep up the good work.

    GCSE coursework

  7. Hi,
    Really nice! Your article is unique, informative, interesting and is captivating attention of the readers. You have emphasized on a good point.
    Custom Essay Writing

  8. Hello,
    Excellent post, I really enjoy reading this article, thank you so much for sharing it.

    Essay Papers

  9. Thanks for sharing. i really appreciate it that you shared with us such a informative post..
    custom assignment | argumentative essay