"Oh, this book on how to teach math. It's pretty interesting."

"Oh, yeah? What's so interesting about it?"

"Well, I like this chapter on

*Teaching Through Problem Solving*. It mentions three different ways problem solving can be taught: Teaching

*for*problem solving, Teaching

*about*problem solving and Teaching

*through*problem solving."

"What's the difference?"

"Well, teaching

*for*problem solving is when students will learn a certain set of skills and then later be asked to solve a problem using those skills. Teaching

*about*problem solving is when students learn about particular strategies for solving problems. And teaching

*through*problem solving is when students are given the problem first and then they figure out how they want to solve it. It's kind of the opposite of teaching

*for*problem solving."

"Hmm. So teaching for problem solving means the teacher shows us how to

*do*stuff first?"

"Yeah, pretty much."

"They don't think we can think for ourselves? That's kind of offensive."

## 4 comments:

Hah, good response by the student. Nice story, and certainly I like the strategy, "Teach through problem solving."

Thanks. This made me think... Even when what I am teaching about is problem solving itself, I still have a choice about whether to teach problem-solving through problem-solving.

It also reminds me of the distinction between listening to students and listening for students that I got to riff on at Key Press's Ignite at NCTM: http://www.keypress.com/x26707.xml (the one called Why 2 > 4).

Smart kids you got there....

I like that book. We used it in my Elementary math methods course in college and I have picked it off the shelf quite a few times since then. Nice impromptu discussion and bit of an English lesson (compare and contrast the meaning of

for, to and through*smile*)Post a Comment