Author Archives: Lewis Edgar

Developing my understanding of teaching mathematics

math

My understanding of teaching maths. 

Recently at university we have been looking into teaching mathematics more in-depth and how ways in which mathematics may be taught in the classroom. Prior to these inputs, my knowledge of teaching mathematics in the classroom was basic and I had a basic understanding of what was expected of a primary teacher in relation to teaching mathematics and aiding children’s development to help them progress to the next level.

Semester two of second year, however, completely changed my overview of this. It showed me that there are more complex ways to teach mathematics to aid better understanding of mathematics for children, particularly in the early years. Things such as the inclusion of a digital clock to aid the understanding of hours and minutes on an analogue clock when teaching time (Duncan,1993) and making mathematics fun and practical to engage the learners.

I was perplexed by the importance of teaching scientific language to aid children’s development, not only in mathematics but also in daily life for things such as ‘I’ll be a minute’ or ‘Share the sweets evenly’. This was something I had never really taken into consideration, therefore making me think carefully about word choice and ways of easing children into the use of scientific language, particularly in the early years.

Mathematics progressional stages from early to fourth (although third and fourth stages are more directed towards secondary mathematics) are fundamentally important for primary teachers insurance of each child’s development in relation to expected level of work Sadler-Smith and Evans, 2006) . In the early years is is essential for teachers to explain and visually describe new concepts (concrete experiences) to children. Moving through the primary school will allow children to become more independent in their own. Some children may take to this quickly whilst others may not adapt to so quickly (Morin, 2014). This was something which I had always expected as due to prior experiences children in the early years are always very dependent on the aid of the classroom teacher whereas the older children prefer to work on their own or with their peers.

 

References: 

Duncan, A. (1993) What Primary Teachers Should Know About Maths. London: Hodder & Stoughton. 

Morin, A. (2014) Ways to help grade schoolers work independently. 

Available at: https://www.understood.org/en/school-learning/learning-at-home/homework-study-skills/at-a-glance-6-ways-to-help-grade-schoolers-work-independently 

Sadler-Smith, E. and Evans, C. (2006) Learning Styles in Education and Training. Bradford. Emerald Group Pub.  

Skills I hope to develop throughout my time at university

Throughout my time at university I will develop many skills which I can transfer into all aspects of life.

Here are some of the aspects of university life with the skills I hope to develop within them.

Lectures
  •  Make polite requests
  • Manage time
  • Work accurately
  • Contribute to discussion
  • Listen to views of others
  • Be creative
  • Reflect on own learning
Workshops
  •  Approach others
  • Develop self confidence
  • Participate as a team
  • Be creative
  • Generate new ideas
  • Reflect on own learning
Tutorials
  •  Approach others
  • Work in a group
  • Reflect on own learning
  • Use creative talents

 

Discussions with tutors/DOS
  • Debate formally and informally
  • Contribute to discussion
  • Think critically
  • Organize and plan
Reading
  •  Set personal goals
  • Manage time
  • Work accurately
  • Be flexible
  • Manage resources
Writing
  •  Set personal goals
  • Manage time
  • Work accurately
  • Word processing
  • Use a keyboard
  • Be creative
  • Analyze
  • Manage resources
  • Reflect on own learning
Using Technology
  •  Generate new ideas
  • Research
  • Write a project evaluation report
  • Word processing
  • Use a keyboard
  • Manage a database
Library
  •  Approach others
  • Manage resources
  • Research
  • Make polite requests
  • Be flexible
  • Act positively to change
Professional Practice
  •  Make polite requests
  • Act as a leader
  • Work accurately
  • Listen to views of others
  • Reflect on own learning
  • Problem solving strategies
  • Set personal goals
  • Form a team
  • Develop self confidence

My Educational Philosophy.

I am Lewis Edgar in the University Of Dundee studying for an MA (Hons) in Education. I arrived here by working as hard as I possibly could to achieve my life goal, to become a primary school teacher. From a young age it has always been an ambition of mine to be accepted into a university to the course I had always desired. I did this by working to the best of my abilities in fifth year to achieve as many higher qualifications as I possibly could, I achieved this through self-motivation and a lot of hard work. In the summer of 2013 when I got my results sent in the post, I had achieved what I had hoped for, so in 6th year all I had to achieve was a B in higher English and a B in any other subject. Throughout the course of 6th year with the help of my teachers and my very helpful English tutor I worked as hard as I possibly could to achieve my goal. When I received my invitation to interview at the University Of Dundee in January it motivated me to work harder as my goal was in sight. After receiving a conditional offer for the course I had always wanted to and been accepted after meeting my conditions, I was into the University Of Dundee to study MA (Hons) Education.

In 6th year I did placement once a week for a few hours at a local primary school. This helped me know that my decision to study Education at university was definitely the correct choice for me. The challenges and difficulties were worth working through as it gave more experience in the field which I wanted to study. Placement made me realise that teaching was not what I initially thought it would be, it was a lot more, which I found to be better than I expected it to be.

My goal is to work and do the best I can over the next four years and I would love to become an enthusiastic and supportive teacher who will always do everything to the best of my ability. I would like to be a teacher who is supportive and is a positive role model for children. It’s highly important, in my opinion, as a teacher to try to make a difference to the next generation of teaching and strive to achieve goals and objectives. This is the teacher I would like learn to become over the next four years at university.

Being an undergraduate student means a lot of hard work and dedication to achieve your goals in life. I have always believed that if you really want something you can work to your hardest and you will achieve it. I think being an undergraduate shows this, to become a university student, in anything you want, all you have to do is to work to your upmost and strive to achieve. My 6th year placement prepared me for being an undergraduate in Education. This prepared me for the challenges and issues I may experience during my professional practice during my time in my course in university. Personally, I believe being an undergraduate involves being prepared and always keeping on top on things. This will prevent many things coming up at once and therefore will help prevent stress and possibly a lack of time and effort being able to be put into one assignment or piece of work.