Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Skemp and the Baseball Coach

I love discussing the Richard Skemp article, “Relational Understanding and Instrumental Understanding,”  (Mathematics Teaching in the Middle School, September 2006) with preservice secondary teachers. Not first thing in a course, but after some experiences with deep mathematics learning, and some groundwork in thinking about teaching, it is amazing. I've recorded two blogposts about it already with my reading guide and with video of the novice teachers' summaries.

The article discusses how there are two views of understanding that makes discussing learning difficult. Instrumental understanding is associated with rote earning and mastering, and relational understanding is connected, transferable learning. Skemp puts it better, thank goodness he wrote about it.

This past semester, one student in particular made a strong connection that seemed to also make a lot of sense to the other teachers. He was willing to share it on video, so, here it is! Thanks to Ryan for his work in making sense of the article and his willingness to share.

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