Instructional Video Critique


http://www.edutopia.org/math-social-activity-cooperative-learning-video

How to Teach Math as a Social Activity


The Edutopia.com video on teaching math as a social activity presented many founded characteristics as an affective teaching strategy. The video presented the necessary classroom management preparations needed to make the strategy a success which included having students create ground rules and expectations for discussions. The video also addressed having students take ownership of such policies in order to make the policies their own. Also mentioned was what looked loosely like the Think, Pair, Share strategy which is an affective teaching tool for involving all students in learning by giving them the necessary wait time and assistance to be successful with a certain task. Lastly, the classroom presented also used journaling as a writing activity for math. This strategy is well known to increase writing and note taking skills and also allows students to take ownership of the information that they write within their journal.


Though the strategy did encompass many desirable outcomes, concerns with this strategy could still be noted. Meeting the needs of non auditory learners could be concerning since so much learning involved listening to discussions. Concerns for other students, particularly those with exceptionalities or social skills deficits, would also have to be addressed since these students do not possess the skills to interact with peers at such a high functioning level. Because of this, their learning of math could be affected negatively. Another concern could also be simply in regard to class size. Can an effective true discussion really take place with class sizes in the upper thirties? When does a discussion become a lecture?


This teaching strategy presented also mirrored strategies found elsewhere in the teaching field. Cooperative learning within small groups was mirrored in the small group discussions as was higher level thinking skills such as metacognition within group discussions when students were asked to explain why they did what they did to get the answer.


This very affective strategy seemed to be a feasible option for most classroom settings that exclude students with low functioning social skills such as students identified with autism. Classroom would also need collaborative work centers set up for small group work instead of the traditional chair and desk setting as well as be prepared for lots of student movement through open space in order to allow for smooth transitioning between activities. An affective attention getting strategy would also be necessary to get student attention during group discussions as the noise level could be loud. Such collaborative activities could be intensified with the use of a projector and elmo so that all students could easily see what other students had done for each problem as they discussed it with the class.