The cultivation of self-directed learning in teaching mathematics

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Saied Bishara


This study examined students’ ability to learn mathematics in a self-directed teaching environment. One of the main goals of the educational system is to nurture independent learners who can grow up to be inquisitive, critical, creative, and capable of piloting their own learning. This implies making a change in the way the role of the mathematics teacher is perceived in that the teacher must now become a mentor who supports and mediates learning, enabling students to construct a knowledge base of rules and methods in mathematics and acquire and experience ways of thinking that enable them to construct this knowledge.This qualitative study is based on interviews with four ninth-grade mathematics teachers and on in-class observations of teaching styles and teacher-student interactions. Our findings show that applying self-directed learning methods in class based on a constructivist approach to teach mathematics is an important factor in developing students’ creativity and thinking. These findings suggest that developing this model of teaching should be recommended to teachers. Accordingly, this study also proposes a model for staff development programs that foster self-directed learning in mathematics. The model proposes that increasing teachers’ awareness of their teaching process and training them to prepare learners to cope effectively with unfamiliar mathematical problems are goals to include in teacher training. This model of teaching may have far-reaching effects in pedagogy, e.g.: reducing drop-out numbers, improving achievements, and improving social interactions.Key words: constructivist approach, fostering thinking, self-directed learning, teaching mathematics.


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Bishara, S. . (2021). The cultivation of self-directed learning in teaching mathematics. World Journal on Educational Technology: Current Issues, 13(1), 82–95.