What are the advantages and disadvantages of this kind of lesson?
1. In an abstract lesson, the student is challenged to focus on the
concept, isolated from a concrete application of it.
2. The concept can be made clear, when the lesson is about the concept
and not the application.
1. Some students will have difficulty maintaining focus through steps
of an abstract lesson.
Are "mathematics only" lessons important in your classroom?
Yes - it is important to isolate and clarify concepts. However,
abstract and contextualized lessons are both necessary for students to
learn and be able to apply mathematical concepts and skills.
What purpose do they, as opposed to contextualized lessons, serve?
1. "Mathematics only" lessons challenge the student to move back and
forth between abstract and concrete thinking.
2. These lessons also challenge the student to apply the concept to
I teach high school special education students, who have a variety of
learning disabilities, and attentional and behavioral problems. They
resist any lessons that are not concrete and highly structured.
"Discovery" activities are likely to frustrate them, because they have
difficulty working independently, and they want the security of "doing
it right". However, I do believe it is necessary to teach concepts
isolated from context. I combine "mathematics only" lessons with
applications, and make sure I provide a way for students to see their
Channel-talkgeometry mailing list
Received on Thu Jul 14 12:50:54 2005