Many educators employ mathematical problem solving as an add on to the curriculum instruction to reinforce mathematics operations and procedures rather than consider problem-solving itself as a meaningful opportunity for developing deep mathematical concepts. More recently, experts have conceded that problem-solving provides a critical context for students to develop their understanding of mathematics. The mathematics curriculum has now shifted from teaching how to solve mathematics problems to teaching mathematics through problem-solving. Problem-solving is now formally seen as an inquiry-rich process. This presentation will highlight the strong association between the development of students’ cognitive functions and their mathematical abilities. The early learning of mathematics and the motivation to learn it in later years is closely associated. Therefore, attempts to close the widening gaps in mathematics achievements become increasingly complex over the school years. This session will focus on the challenges of these factors at the pre-school and primary school levels, providing general tips on effective instruction and assessment of learning.
About the speaker:
Dr Ben Hur has more than 30 years of experience in coaching teachers to improve their mathematics instruction by applying cognitive-based reasoning. He is an international trainer for Reuven Feuerstein and one of the most preeminent ‘trainer of trainers’ in FIE. Merging his interest in thinking abilities and their application to mathematics teaching, Ben Hur designed Cognitive Pathways to Mathematics Achievement™, a guided professional development program for math instructors across all grade and achievement levels. The program provides strategies and tools to enable all students to think mathematically and solve challenging problems. He has published numerous books and articles, including Concept-Rich Mathematics Instruction: Building a Strong Foundation for Reasoning and Problem Solving, Investigating the Big Ideas of Arithmetic, Making Algebra Accessible to All, and Mediation of Cognitive Competencies for Students in Need. Dr Ben Hur is internationally celebrated for his work in FIE and its unique extensions to Mathematics instruction. He has designed and implemented professional development and classroom programs for educators across North America, including New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, St. Louis, Canada, and Alaska. He has trained educators and trainers worldwide, including Brazil, Israel, Holland, England, and France. Dr Ben Hur is interested in applying Feuerstein’s theories of “learning how to learn” to the successful teaching of mathematics so that “real” learning takes place. His goal is to enable all children to think mathematically, i.e., achieve “real” understanding and mastery of mathematical concepts, not merely memorising facts and formulas.