THE HISTORY OF MATHEMATICS DURING AN INQUIRY-BASED TEACHING APPROACH

Publication Type:

Journal Article

Source:

MENON ©online Journal Of Educational Research, 2nd Thematic Issue, University of Western Macedonia - Faculty of Education, Florina, Greece, p.29 (2016)

Keywords:

beliefs and practices, History of mathematics, inquiry-based activities, teachers’ knowledge

Abstract:

The use of the history of Mathematics in teaching has long been considered as a useful tool in order to enable students to construct conceptually the mathematical concepts. At the same time the inquiry-based teaching approach is proposed to be used in order to improve students’ learning by using their natural tendency to curiosity. The use of the history of mathematical concepts during an inquiry-based teaching approach is expected to multiply the positive effects on students’ learning. The present study examines in-service teachers’ beliefs and knowledge about the use of the history of mathematics in the framework of the inquiry-based teaching approach at the educational system of Cyprus, and the difficulties teachers face in adopting and implementing this specific innovation in primary education. At the first phase of the study a questionnaire was used in order to investigate teachers’ knowledge and beliefs about the use of the history of mathematics in education and mainly in relation to the inquiry-based teaching approach. At the second phase of the study two case studies were examined, where teachers introduced a mathematical concept by using the history of mathematics in order to identify the practices they used and the difficulties they faced. The results indicated that the teachers’ knowledge about the use of the history and mainly the experimental nature of mathematics is significantly related with their positive beliefs about the inquiry-based teaching approach. Teachers’ worries were mainly concentrated on their difficulties to manage the time and the content of the subject and to face efficiently and flexibly their students’ mistakes and difficulties.

Body: 

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