Teaching & feedback practices for enhancing mathematical skills: Some field experiences
AV Jayalakshmi Balakrishnan
Mathematics is taught in school to enhance cognitive skills like problem solving, reasoning, critical and rational thinking. These skills can be improved only if opportunities are given through meaningful classroom student-teacher interactions and through feedback given for tasks assessed. The Mathematical skills can be enhanced if teachers use inductive approach of teaching. Inductive approach of teaching will provide opportunities to the students for enhancing their Mathematical skills. These skills can also be enhanced when feedback is given for formative tests and activities. The Formative assessment activities given in CBSE schools are both written and performance based. This implies that teaching Mathematics with inductive approach and appropriate feedback given for Mathematics FA activities would enhance Mathematical skills. This paper aims at finding out the instances used for teaching mathematics in class IX, criteria-based feedback given to the students Mathematics teachers, and the type of feedback given to the students by the Mathematics teachers. For this study Eight Mathematics classes were observed in 5 different CBSE schools. The number of Mathematics teachers whose classes were observed were five, total number of class IX students in five schools were 180. The findings show that inductive approach of teaching was used in the topics related to geometry where it was easy for the students to imagine the diagram like parallelogram and quadrilateral. Many (43.75 percent) teachers gave task specific criteria for formative assessment. Large number of (50.76 percent) students were not given any comment for improving their wrong answers in the notebooks or the test sheets. Large number of low scorers (73.84 percent) were given common feedback, no separate feedback for improving their scores were given.