My SA has been thinking about the new math curriculum for the primary grades lately, and the shift from traditional ways to inquiry-based ways of teaching concepts, which is often done without paper and pencil. While she can definitely see benefits to encouraging inquiry in the classroom, my SA is also aware that in teaching math concepts in the early grades solely through inquiry, stepping away from methods that had been designed to be easy to build upon in learning concepts in later grades, primary teachers are potentially doing intermediate teachers a disservice. Her opinion is that it is crucial for students to have a strong understanding of number sense as early as possible. Students need to be able to build upon this understanding to learn more advanced concepts. That being said, she recognizes that the new curriculum ultimately gives teachers more opportunities to try different methods and that it will be up to them to use those that can provide the strongest foundation.

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1 Response to Conversation

  1. Isabeau Iqbal says:

    Hello Alexandra,
    I appreciate your focus on the math curriculum for this post. It is an area of learning that has received a fair bit of attention and, though I am not ‘up on the research’ in math teaching, it seems to me that –last I read–a more systematic approach to teaching math (to help students solidly learn foundational concepts) was found to be desirable.
    This is a big debate and it’ll be interesting to see how this plays out.
    Thank you.

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