Monday, September 20, 2010
On Dave's Hewitt's teaching style
Dave Hewitt demonstrated unconventional ways of teaching mathematical concepts. All his words, and actions, were well planned, and intentional. Each tap on the board, and the location of that tap, and timing of that tap, etc. were done to lead the students to conjecture some pattern on the number line. It forced student to concentrate with their ears, and think with their heads. They were not presented with any numbers to stare at. The teacher must carefully think through how sound and actions can guide the student's thinking, and execute his plan accurately. Even when delivered exactly as intended, there is still the possibility where one student's interpretation is different from another's. Hence, Hewitt also plans some assessment into his lesson. He does this by repeating and returning to certain patterns, by asking students what number we are at, not giving out the correct answer, but rather, allowing the students as a group to participate, and self-correct their answers until all agree it is correct. Overall, Hewitt's method is very clever, somewhat intuitive, while also counter-conventional, takes arduous planning and thought. However, it could instill a deep relational understanding in students that is unparalleled by conventional illustrations using pen on a board.