Monday, November 5, 2012

21st Century Literacies

                       Tapping creativity may be a little more difficult in a mathematics class than it is, say, in a Spanish language or English class.  However, it is far from an impossible task and there are many ways to foster creativity with just a little bit of effort on the teacher’s part.  For example, geometry students can be given assignments that use core concepts to create geometric artwork or algebra students can be given real-life problems to solve (compound interest, maximization of profit, etc.) using their algebraic skills.  
                      Critical thinking and problem solving occur every day for everyone.  Life is full of problems, some big and some small, that need to be addressed on a daily basis.  The goal of education should be to teach students how to think, not what to think, so that they are prepared to tackle the issues that come up in life and in their careers.
               Communication, discussion and collaboration are techniques that foster learning among children and adults.  Students should be given a safe environment in school that allows them to discuss issues freely and collaborate on group projects.  By having the freedom to express their ideas without fear of condemnation, rejection or retaliation, and by collaborating with peers from a variety of backgrounds, students can share creative thoughts and exercise their ability to think critically.  

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