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					                                  Shannon Souter

      The two questions I have chosen to explore will help me in both my student-

teaching and in my own classroom in the future. My first question is: How can I

teach math so that all students are successful? This question is very personal to

me. One of the reasons I chose it is because I found math very difficult when I

was in school, and because of that I realized that students learn math in different

ways. I need to be able to identify and understand the different ways in which

students learn in order to teach to those different learning styles. In my grade

six class there are two students who are working at a grade five level in math.

There are also other students who constantly have their hand up in class or cannot

complete their homework on their own. Then, of course, there are those students

in my class who have no difficulty in math, and never even have homework because

they are quick enough to finish their work in class.

      I have found that math seems to be a subject where there is a wide range of

abilities compared to other subjects. This tells me that I need to find a way to

cater to the different ways in which children learn. This question is important to

me because I know how frustrating math can be for students and I want to find

ways to make this learning easier for them.
       The second question I will be exploring is: How can I move away from

transmission in the classroom to social constructivism in my teaching?      When I

think of this question the things that come to mind are: time-consuming,

challenging, and extra work for the teacher. This may be the case but I believe

this is the best way for my students to learn. The Program of Studies is social

constructivist and when teaching as such I’ll be doing my job; if not, I won’t be

doing my job.

       The transmission model of teaching simply assumes the student is a passive

learner, taking in information provided by the teacher and regurgitating it when it

is time to write a test with no demonstration of their own thoughts or

understanding. The processes of reading and writing are transmitted to students

through instruction in individual skills, instead of being taught as a whole (Au, p.

43).   In this model, knowledge is a quantitative notion, emphasizing facts and

someone else’s knowledge to be learned and reproduced on demand (Bainbridge and

Malicky, 2004).    This method clearly does not develop independent, critical

thinkers. My grade six classroom is very transmission oriented, and I didn’t see

the students having the opportunity to engage in any critical thinking. If you want

students to who will grow up to participate fully in a democratic society and create
necessary societal changes, then you will have to move toward a social

constructivist method of teaching.

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