Pedagogy can be defined as the way something is taught and learnt.
Existing Professional Learning covers:
* Explicit Learning
* Guided and Independent Learning
* Planning a Week's Lessons
* Using the Teaching Resources
* Differentiated Addition and Subtraction lessons
* Divergent Thinking
* Quality Mathematics Lessons
There has been much research into effective pedagogy for teaching maths for deep understanding, over a long period of time, highlighting the importance of using strategic questioning rather than telling.
Richard R Skemp believed that children could learn intelligently from a young age. He defined two ways of teaching and learning which he called Instrumental Understanding and Relational Understanding.
Lev Vygotsky's Zone of Proximal Development demonstrates that learning with people who are close to our own level of understanding accelerates learning and deepens understanding. Vygotsky’s research into the role of talk in learning also concluded that talk is vital to deep understanding. Questioning rather than telling allows children to engage in talk using and developing mathematical meta-language.
Sir Ken Robinson observed, children become less creative, rather than more creative due to shallow teaching. Divergent thinking can be defined as thinking of all possibilities.
Many of us were taught Maths through telling. Our teachers told us how to 'do' maths and then we 'practised' until we could 'do' it independently. The learning theory was that if we were told how to 'do' it and 'did' it enough, understanding would follow...
The problem was that in many cases, understanding never followed, whether or not we could 'do' the mathematics. However it was thought we 'understood' if we arrived at the correct answer. If we didn't arrive at the correct answer, we were simply 'told' how to 'do' it again!
We now know that this is not an effective way to learn Maths. Maths is conceptually based, not skills based. Understanding of one concept is needed to understand another concept, and another concept, and another concept.... Children need to develop understanding of concepts, and the relationships between concepts, and not merely 'do' maths.
Telling children about Maths allows us to know what we understand. Teaching maths using a pedagogy of questioning, allows us to know what children understand. Asking children about Maths allows both the teacher and the child to identify their current understandings and to build on them. This also allows the teacher to correct misconceptions, build on incomplete understanding and teach every child from their leading edge. Teaching maths using a pedagogy of questioning has the added benefit of deepening teacher understanding, as they engage in substantive communication about mathematical concepts with their students!
If you would like to enhance your understanding and practice of the pedagogy of questioning, browse our resources now!