Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Princess Elizabeth Primary School

The research lesson was on the topic of money. The research theme was on curiosity to facilitate the problem-solving process. When I met the team during the lesson planning stage, I asked questions about what tools / strategies had been put into the lesson to evoke the sense of curiosity in the learning / solving process.

Thanks to Joyce, the research teacher, Mee Eng, the facilitator and the kids in the class for the learning experience.

This is what I learnt about curiosity in the learning process. I saw the kids, initially, not curious about their own responses. They were asked to find the number of ways to purchase a $2, $2.50 and $4 items using exactly $20. When they tried 5 of the $2 items and 2 of the $4, they correctly found that they had spent $18. But they did not react to this findings. Why were they not curious how they could use this to generate a possible solution (say, by getting a $2 item)?

However, halfway through a boy wondered aloud if getting another item would help. Then a girl and another boy went to do the same and generated a solution. Another girl did not see what they were on about. But when it was carried out she thought it was a great idea - "You are troublesome but very smart" this girl said to her friend who used the $18 response to get a solution.

The post-lesson disucssion was dominated by ideas about obstacles to the kids being curious about what they did. Among the reasons - lack of understanding of the task, pre-occupation with their groupwork roles, lack of understanding of terminologies such ans 'ways' and 'combinations' and a couple others.

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