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This assignment requires you to write an essay that explores the way in which we teach mathematics in a contemporary learning environment.
There is a lack of a general consensus with respect to the definition and the process of learning. As per a study by NCCA (2014), in the context of mathematics, it is presumed that the subject is for all, and the focus of the educator should be to make meaning plausible for the students. While most educators in the early years of learning focus on play based and environment focused learning measures, it is recognized that these measures alone cannot prepare a child for school mathematics (Baroody and Swaker, 2013). Hence, a need to enable the concept and the analytic skills for the subject along with the cognitive and reasoning skills in the learners has been noted. Through the course of the present review, focus towards understanding how early learners acquire mathematical concepts has been drawn through the theoretical perspectives. The study assesses the process of mathematic skills learning with respect to the constructivism and behaviourism principles.
Constructivism principles and Mathematics
In the early learning years, a child acquires their own comprehension of the environment, and builds their knowledge (Baroody and Swaker, 2013). This process of learning is referred as the constructivism approach. As per this perspective, even as mathematic skills much like the intellectual knowledge in some essence can be innate. Yet the role of nurture/ environment application has gained high applicability with respect to this teaching process as well (Donald, 2011).
Constructivism provides inference with respect to the logical way of mathematics where innate levels of the logical intelligence can be inherited with the environment (Macelod and Golby, 2003). Studies suggest that the brain keeps growing by forming new neurons and connections within neurons all through the life, in which sense it is plausible to presume that the major proportion of a human logical or mathematical knowledge comes through constructivism-based learning environment (Donald, 2011).
As opposed to contrary perception, mathematics is not as difficult as one may think rather, it is a vertically structured discipline that requires a person to be a cumulative learner (Baroody and Swaker, 2013). As per a review by Donald (2011), most people can comprehend the large and small number differences based on the level of their interests at the time of their entry at a school level. However, this comprehension expands with the passage of the time and with the influence of the environment. In this sense the role of the adults in student' learning combined with practice and project-based learning is gradually adopting a higher relevance with respect to the mathematical learning (Macelod and Golby, 2003). Thus, even as the curriculum in classrooms is in consideration to the average skills level of the students, there is a need to consider the impact of environment and innate ability for mathematics learning amongst the students through the use of the constructivist teaching and learning principles (Baroody and Swaker, 2013).
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