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Words, words, words…do we need them to teach math literacy?

  
  
  

math literacyIn school, we depend on language to convey ideas. The teacher walks up to the board, writes words, uses words to ask and answer questions; the students receive books with words and are assessed with tests using—you got it—words. Even when it comes to assessing math literacy, we depend on words. This dependence on language is precisely what TED Talks speaker Matthew Peterson—Chief Technical Officer and Senior Scientist at the MIND Research Institute—addresses in his eight-minute lecture, Teaching Without Words. Sounds crazy, doesn’t it?

Words, words, words…do we need them to teach math literacy?

Interrogating our dependence on language starts to make sense, however, when we consider states like California where 25 percent of students are English language learners, 15 percent have language learning difficulties and 20 percent fail language comprehension tests. Is Peterson suggesting that reading proficiency is not a priority? Not at all. He is simply suggesting that it may be necessary to find new ways to teach students for whom language is still a barrier. He’s also suggesting that we may not need language to teach math literacy.

In addition to watching his brief lecture (which you’ll find below), we recommend stopping by MIND Research Institute’s website to learn more about Peterson’s spatial-temporal approach to teaching K-5 mathematics. The software he and his team have designed to teach math literacy does not use language, numbers or symbols; instead, it teaches students to visualize and focus on interactive problem solving.

 

Comments

Wow its really really inspiring so simple and true thank you for sharing this with me. 
with regards  
Agnes
Posted @ Friday, April 05, 2013 8:25 AM by Agnes Mariadas
You're welcome, Agnes. Thanks for reading! 
 
-The MAT Team
Posted @ Friday, April 05, 2013 10:09 AM by Ryan O'Rourke
I wished to thanks a ton for this good read!! I definitely enjoying every little bit of it.I have you saved as a favorite to check out new stuff you article. My best regards.
Posted @ Tuesday, October 01, 2013 12:28 PM by bedding sets
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