MY TEACHING PHILOSOPHY
The field of mathematics takes the world around us and describes it using an analytical model. If we could help students see the relationship between mathematics and the world around them they should be more successful. Connections to art and the sciences can help students appreciate the importance of mathematics and see its many applications.
When taught purely by lecture students begin to believe that all information comes from the teacher or the text. It will then be difficult for them to think for themselves and to come up with unique solutions to problems. When posed with a problem in the real world the solution is not immediately apparent. Mathematics is an ideal vehicle to develop students’ skills in problem solving. Posing open-ended problems opens the arena up to diverse solutions. Students are exposed to a variety of solution methods and begin to see the advantages and disadvantages of different processes. With this type of learning environment students will learn to think critically. They will learn how to distinguish between a correct and incorrect solution by going back and checking their answer.
Finally mathematics should be made available to all students. All students should be allowed to investigate mathematics as mathematicians do and not just be taught algorithms. Students who do not succeed well in arithmetic should not be held back from studying higher mathematics. There are many areas of mathematics that would improve these students’ arithmetic skills and expose them to new material.