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Scholars Day: April 7, 2010

Applying the Problem Solving Approach to Help Children With Special Needs Learn Math

As a result of reform movements in mathematics education, attention traditionally on procedural knowledge shifted to include conceptual understanding. That shift resulted in a new definition of mathematical knowledge, emphasizing the exploration of big ideas, the connections between those ideas, and communication about them. Problem solving became the main focus in the mathematics classroom, challenging the traditional approach to teaching and learning mathematics. When it comes to children with special needs, we often underestimate their abilities and revert to the traditional step-by-step recipe approach to teaching math. The goal of this presentation is to help participants understand why the problem solving approach to teaching and learning mathematics is not only important, but also meaningful and practical for everyone, including children with special needs. A student teacher will share her experiences regarding the creation and implementation of a problem solving math lesson plan she taught to a student classified as having autism.

Presenters: Kathleen Loeffler (Undergraduate Student)
Janka Szilagyi (Faculty)
Allison Wright (Faculty)
Topic: Education and Human Development
Location: 215 Hartwell
Time: 2:45 pm (Session IV)