Productive struggle describes learning that requires effort and encourages creativity. This allows students to understand more content and then apply it to more complex or challenging problems. This is what all our students should strive for. Did you know certain teaching methods can inhibit students’ ability to learn productive struggle in math?
Here are some examples of unintended consequences of common teaching practices, crafted by math homework help experts.
Students who know the correct answer to our questions are welcome to join us
While it might be tempting to call in the Hermionegrangers to class, this will not allow us to give students strategies for dealing with difficult situations. Ron Weasley is not the ideal model to share with students, you might think. Then, you can help students ask questions and solve the problem. Students will appreciate your willingness to use an “I don’t know” moment to ask questions. This is a way of helping them instead of feeling disappointed or defeated. This shows you are willing to learn from your mistakes and try again.
These are just a few of the many helpful resources.
- Staying with students to respond effectively to incorrect answers
- The Power Of “I Don’t Know”
- Students: Why the question is more important than the answer.
For their intelligence, students deserve to be praised
Carol Dweck is a researcher who shared the observation that students are often praised for their intelligence. This can cause a drop in their motivation and success. Teachers who praise students for their hard work rather than asking the right questions are more likely to encourage them to take on challenging tasks. Dweck states that learning does not need to be about effort.
“Students should explore new strategies and seek help from others when they get stuck.” To learn and improve they need a variety, not only effort. (Dweck, 2015).
It is important to praise your creativity when solving problems, coming up for new ideas, being innovative, creative, and persisting when facing challenges.
Create bulletin boards to highlight high-level achievements
According to this study, students are more likely to engage and have better learning outcomes if their teachers see students persevering with learning over great intellectual achievements. Instead of focusing solely on high scores, give examples of creative problem solving and progress toward a learning goal.
These ideas were created by educators who set high goals for their classrooms and encourage deeper learning.
Concentrating on formulas, teaching methods
Doing drills and memorizing won’t help you think deeper or more complexly. You can help them reach this goal by asking them non-routine questions. Allow them to decide what math to use and how they should solve the problem. Students can use their imaginations and solve the problem. This increases student engagement and encourages creativity when solving problems.
- Take a look at these visual math activities
- An activity in visual sudoku that can be used at all grade levels
- This number spiral visual math activity can be used at all grade levels
- Geometry visual mathematics activity for middle school.
Studies have shown that students learn less when they get “correct” or “incorrect” feedback
Information is essential for students to make the right decisions and move towards a solution. Informative feedback does more than simply getting the right answer. It encourages students to ask questions. It gives context about why the answer was correct. Linda Himes, a teacher who has 36 years of teaching experience, shares this example.
“I witnessed a student having trouble creating equivalent fractions. With perseverance, he eventually found the solution. Instead of saying “Well Done!” or “See! I said you were intelligent,” I said, “Wow, you just made out how you can make equivalent fractions using the relationships between numbers within the fractions.” His expression was priceless. He was conscious that he had achieved something difficult. He instantly changed his attitude towards math.
Students who have difficulty with their studies will be offered easier work
This is a message to students that they don’t have the skills or ability to deal with difficult work. Instead, you should find activities that will allow all students to learn and achieve their full potential. These are examples from youcubed. Jo Boaler is a math professor at Standford.
For new material, adhere to a strict schedule
It takes time for students to learn while they struggle. However, this doesn’t necessarily mean learning was not possible because students couldn’t find the answer in the time they had. Students are able to become more productive and develop new ideas when challenged. This is critical to grasping a topic on a deeper level.
Robert A. Bjork, From Making Things hard on You but in good ways, describes “Conditions which seem to cause difficulties by the learner, slowing their rate of apparent learned,” Robert A. Bjork. Create Desirable Difficulties to Enhance Learning
Students should feel at ease not being “math-people”.
Research has proven that mathematical thinking can be achieved by everyone. This can lead to great learning outcomes. This can help students frustrated by math to stop struggling or resign. It doesn’t matter if you have math anxiety or the preconception of math is a skill that anyone can learn. The attitudes and perceptions of students about math will impact their learning.