Scholarly knowledge of a subject is different from the kind of knowledge required to help others learn it. Unlike scholars, teachers cannot focus only on the content; they also need to know how to help their children understand that content.
Hence, teachers must restructure their content knowledge to make it pedagogical. This means, they must be able to view their subject through the eyes of their children. Many teachers develop this skill and generate topic specific strategies, and appropriate examples to engage children in activities that facilitate learning. Teachers may think that once they display models and get children to do all the activities as planned, then the children are learning. But this is not always the case.
For instance, it might be difficult for some children to believe that the size of an angle is not related to how long the arms of the angle appear.
To ensure that children understand what they are being taught it is important that the teacher takes into account preconceptions and misconceptions that children carry with them.
Developmental stages and common misconceptions
When angles are first introduced, most children think that the size of an angle varies with its arm length. Also, some of them fail to recognize equal angles in different orientations.
The author is Mathematics Team Leader at K D Ambani Vidyamandir (Primary school), Reliance Greens, Jamnagar. She can be reached at [email protected].