Senior Honors Projects, 2010-current

Preferred Name - First Author

Megan Kohanik

Date of Award

Spring 2015

Document Type

Dissertation/Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Science (BS)

Department

Department of Mathematics and Statistics

Advisor(s)

Alexis Stevens

Abstract

The purpose of this paper is to compare and contrast various aspects of focused teaching practices supported by constructivist learning theories in a mathematics classroom. This paper will analyze the advantages and disadvantages of three focused teaching practices and connect the results back to current literature in mathematics education. The three focused teaching practices observed were 1) involving students in classroom discussion (Discussion-Based Classroom), 2) implementing a flipped model of instruction (Flipped Classroom), and 3) incorporating problems related to real-world contexts (Real-World Applications Classroom). Each focused teaching practice corresponded to one secondary or post-secondary classroom that was observed over the course of two months. Similarities observed between all three classrooms were students working collaboratively in small groups, teachers asking guided questions, and students working on application activities. None of the classrooms supported constructivist-based teaching practices at all times, but rather, incorporated a blended approach of the traditional-based style of teaching with the constructivist-based style of teaching. This allowed the teachers to provide material to students in ways that worked best for the students understanding of each topic.

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