ERIC Number: ED442612
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1999
Reference Count: N/A
Teacher-Centered Projects: Confidence, Risk Taking and Flexible Thinking (Mathematics).
Liedtke, Werner W.
The framework of the new British Columbia mathematics curriculum for grades 1-7 includes willingness to take risks and expanded tolerance of ambiguity as goals of mathematics learning. Two projects in Victoria (British Columbia) elementary schools explored ways to promote positive student attitudes toward mathematical tasks and problem solving. During the first several months of school, six first-graders were identified as being reluctant or unwilling to take risks during mathematics instruction. Open-ended tasks with multiple solutions or methods of solution were expected to stimulate curiosity, group discussion, and risk taking. Once or twice a week, several open-ended activities were presented to the six students as a group or in smaller groups. Over time, the teacher noted positive changes in the classroom behavior of four of the students, who became more willing to ask questions and volunteer answers. In a second project, a self-assessment checklist that included statements about mathematics attitudes was completed by students in grades 6-7 at the beginning and end of the school year. During the year, open-ended tasks were included during mathematics instruction whenever possible. At the end of the year, improvements were noted in students' attitudes toward mathematics and problem solving, and students' comments indicated that they enjoyed solving problems in different ways and having the opportunity to explain their thinking. (SV)
Descriptors: Action Research, Attitude Change, Classroom Research, Elementary Education, Elementary School Students, Foreign Countries, Grade 1, Grade 6, Mathematics Anxiety, Mathematics Instruction, Problem Solving, Student Attitudes, Student Behavior
Full text at Web site: http://www.educ.uvic.ca/connections.
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Canada