Mathematics and Science curriculum is undergoing a worldwide reform that strongly emphasizes on an extensive use of written and oral language as an important contribution to students’ conceptual understanding in learning. Our curriculum integrates more writing, reading, groupwork, and technology which require students to actively communicate and engage one another so that they can explain and justify their ideas. It allows our teachers to push their students to move away from the traditional teaching where only procedural practices and computations are emphasized.
Ultimately, the core purpose of Rodwell Learning Center is to provide alternate methods for students to learn mathematics and sciences for understanding. Traditional mathematics and sciences is believed to strongly emphasize on repetitive steps and attaining the right answer, rather than focusing on the cognitive process and how students approach the problem. This type of learning environment requires teachers to only concentrate their lessons on the step-by-step procedures of how to solve the problems. Consequently, this also obliges the students to memorize those steps and formula, which in turns makes this into a “plug and solve” type of work.
On the other hand, learning mathematics and sciences for understanding requires students to be efficient, accurate, and flexible in the way they do their computations and be intellectual, competent, and practical in their conceptual thinking. When these subjects are taught for conceptual understanding and not solely for the procedures, more doors of learning opportunities are opened for the students to explore the possibilities of approaching a problem; hence come up with creative solution.
Education reform has begun to change the way people used to believe that doing mathematics is to quickly calculate for the right answer. In response to this reform, the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM) of the United States of America has published standards for teaching mathematics in K-12 curriculum which had established five goals of learning mathematics:
- Students need to become confident in their ability to do mathematics
- Students need to become mathematical problem solvers
- Students need to learn to communicate mathematically
- Students need to learn to reason mathematically
- Students need to learn to value mathematics
Basically, the new mathematics and sciences emphasizes on communication, an ability to solve problem with reasoning and collaborations. Students need to be able to question, describe, explain, hypothesize, and clarify while they are learning the content as well as the language of mathematics and sciences.