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Examine And Discuss How Learning Theories And Strategies Impact On The Teaching And Learning Of Number Related Activities In The Classroom

1004 words - 5 pages

In this essay I will discuss an activity implemented with year 5 classes which involved a number of mathematical and problem solving activities. The children were split into pairs and were given the task of independently solving as many problems as they could. In total, there were 30 activities laid out separately on tables in the school hall. The children were given answer sheets and in their pairs, were allowed to attempt any problem, in any order, with an aim of completing as many as possible.
The activities were varied and covered many areas of the curriculum including number systems, calculations, problem solving and data handling. All the activities were practical, hands on and ...view middle of the document...

Constructivists believe that humans have an innate ability to use and learn maths, but this varies and is dependant on input given during socialisation. This is important to consider, as when children enter school, they are all at different levels of ability. Whilst they all have the ability to learn, work needs to be set at their level of competence in order for them to progress. By knowing what level the children were at and what activities they were successful and unsuccessful at, future work can be set at a childs capability. This concept is referred to as `scaffolding`, and was a key part of Vygotsky`s theories. Vygotsky talked about something called the zone of proximal development, and this is where scaffolding has it roots. This notion is evident within our educational system today. Vygotsky was also a constructivist, and supported much of Piagets work. However, he differed in the fact that unlike Piaget, he was concerned with the social components of experience. While Piaget believed that an experience was personal, Vygotsky believed that learners are more successful with help and has been associated with the apprentice approach. This is where the learner learns from someone more experienced or competent. Pound, L. (2005) How children learn ,London, Step forward Ltd. This idea was embraced in the activity as the children were placed in pairs of mixed ability, so that they could benefit from more able individuals.
The idea that children benefit from hands on experience is supported by many other theorists. For example, John Comenius has recommended sensory experiences rather than rote learning and was a big believer in learning through play. The way in which the children got involved and acted out scenarios in these tasks reflects this idea. Just as practising counting with beads, or solving calculations with real life objects would fit into this idea aswell. These kind of ideas are the corner stone of education today, and can be seen throughout the key stages. Play offers...

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