"Mathematics is a fine art like music, drawing, sculpture or poetry" Cahit ArfThe study of mathematics at Robert College is designed to not only teach the necessary concepts, techniques and algorithms but an appreciation of the power of mathematical problem solving. Courses are designed to serve both the basic needs of all students and the diverse and advanced needs of highly motivated students.
Statement of the philosophy underpinning our teaching of Mathematics
Mathematics is a subject like no other - its truths do not need to be individually taught to intelligent motivated students. Rather, if students are provided with the necessary concepts and techniques, then they can unpack consequential mathematical truths for themselves. This approach not only results in more effective learning (because students' brains have been actively involved in the construction of students' own knowledge) but also empowers students to solve a variety of problems, with the flexibility to cope if the conditions of a problem are changed.
We base our teaching on this view of the nature of Mathematics. We appreciate that:
This entails making frequent decisions (during lessons as well as when preparing for lessons) regarding what to teach explicitly and what to guide students to unpack for themselves.
There is no single right approach to this task of teaching Mathematics and that we must individually make our own decisions guided by our own experience, consultation with each other and published research findings.
Employing a variety of teaching methods is more likely to be successful than employing just one.
Thoughtful use of technology, particularly graphing calculator technology, can significantly enhance students' learning.
Ultimately it is the extent to which student learning has occurred which is the measure of our success as teachers.
Student learning can fairly be measured by the thoughtful construction of tests and examinations aligned to prior teaching.
It is important that the Mathematics included in our core courses serves the basic needs of all students and that our elective course offerings serve the more diverse and advanced needs of those students who choose to take them.
Statement of Goals
1) Guide students in developing the mathematical vocabulary and syntax necessary to demonstrate their understanding and appreciation of mathematical concepts in English.
2) Guide students by modelling the processes of critical thinking, creativity, self-awareness in various problem-solving techniques while demonstrating appropriate use of technology.
3) Guide students in appreciating the importance of communications in mathematics and to become independent learners as well as productive collaborators.
4) Guide students in integrating their knowledge by representing authentic situations with mathematical models.
5) Guide students in valuing the environment and the learning process.
6) Revisit, evaluate and experiment with new, modern assessment techniques to assist our students in meeting the 21st Century Learning Goals.