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ERIC Number: EJ1001744
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2012-Sep
Pages: 8
Abstractor: ERIC
ISSN: ISSN-1073-5836
Memories of a Chicken-and-a-Half
Schulman, Steven M.
Teaching Children Mathematics, v19 n2 p100-107 Sep 2012
The author's teaching goal is always to make certain that his students, children and adults alike, have some reason for joining him on his mathematical journeys. The lesson he describes in this article provides him with the unusual opportunity to call attention to strategies that have had a long history and remarkable results. With careful inspection, readers may recognize the lesson as a Discovery lesson (Davis 1992, p. 339) or a Socratic lesson (Polya 1966) much as it was delivered during the 1960's reform of mathematics education. The approach is unique in a number of ways: (1) The lesson begins with the teacher wondering about something that is cognitively irresistible to students; (2) The class spends time understanding the problem; (3) The teacher tells little, instead relying on carefully selected questions and finding something positive in each student response; (4) Although the instructor may support students along the way, the students alone must take the final steps; and (5) Someone who teaches this kind of lesson would be unlikely to announce an answer to anyone. The author's personal experience is that when he talks about a lesson to teachers, they imitate his modeling and talk to their students about a lesson. A far more effective teaching approach is to drop his new teachers into a lesson together and rely on the faith he has in the mathematics he teaches, the pedagogy he is using, and the eagerness he has experienced of the children to learn. (Contains 1 figure.)
National Council of Teachers of Mathematics. 1906 Association Drive, Reston, VA 20191-1502. Tel: 800-235-7566; Tel: 703-620-3702; Fax: 703-476-2970; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Elementary Education; Grade 5
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A