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I am currently working with TC² to develop and implement a critical inquiry approach to math learning aligned to the Ontario Grade 9 math curriculum.I have been working with a team of three teachers teaching five sections of the Grade 9 academic course.In order to provide a consistent and full analysis of the equations, students had to discuss all aspects of each one.
In this first article, Chris Achong, math department head at Markville SS (York Region District School Board) talks about his experience with his Grade 9 math team implementing this approach to math learning—a comprehensive and balanced approach that improves the quality of every student’s capacity to think mathematically.
On a personal level, critical inquiry is a topic I had been interested in since teacher’s college when I was exposed to the TC² approach.
I appreciated the fact that critical thinking was clearly defined and could be implemented through specific types of tasks.
Instead of feeding information to students about linear relations and then asking them to apply it, they were asked to make connections right from the start and throughout the unit, continuously applying a fundamental mathematical idea as they practiced solving rich, contextualized problems.
To be mathematically successful in a critical inquiry classroom, students are required to draw on a full range of background knowledge to detect patterns, analyse and synthesize them, and apply that knowledge to problem solve, thereby co-creating and deepening learning every step of the way.