Abstract / Synopsis

In this paper, we, a group of graduate students in mathematics education, discuss some of the metacognitive benefits of the non-traditional teaching methods we observed employed by one of our professors. This professor’s methods challenge the common belief that well-managed class time is key for positive learning outcomes. Instead, he orients his teaching to share the exploration and sense-making phases of doing mathematics. The goal of his teaching is to share the idea that learning mathematics is a process of “refining our mathematical thinking”. We argue that this approach to teaching helps students see that mathematics is a human endeavor, appreciate the cycles of learning mathematics and the importance of struggle throughout the process, and gain some insight on what it means to be an expert in mathematics. We encourage teachers and professors to move away from obsessing about structured, well-organized class time, and to instead move towards having flexible and risk-oriented class time.



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