GeoGebra ProjectDate Released: Thu, 9 October 2014 08:35 +0200
Visiting Professor Reinhard Hölzl from the Pädagogische Hochschule in Luzern, Switzerland worked in partnership with us to deliver an intense 5-week GeoGebra intervention programme in four of our schools as well as to run workshops with the teachers of the broader Grahamstown Education District.
Prof Hölzl, a GeoGebra expert, who spent six weeks teaching and researching at the FRF Mathematics Education Chair was impressed by the beauty of the district, but also with the stark contrasts between the different schools that we work with. He observed that although some of the students still struggle to simultaneously hold down the left mouse button and move the mouse around, others were very quick to construct their first shapes and grasp the difference between for example a rectangle that looks like a rectangle and a rectangle that actually is a rectangle by virtue of its inherent geometric relationships.
Prof Hölzl reinforced our philosophy that Mathematics is a science of patterns and regularities which can be pursued on EVERY level, and can only be meaningfully learnt by exploration and investigation. He believes that dynamic geometry is especially rewarding as it constructs and manipulates shapes and reinforces an exploratory learning approach. This of course has implications for teaching, and it is because of this that the teachers of the participating schools also engaged in the intervention programme.
Prof Hölzl concurred strongly with our sentiments that the curriculum should be seen only as a guideline, and that it is the teacher’s responsibility to select exciting, appropriate and inspiring tasks that complement and support a conceptual way of teaching. Reducing the task of a teacher to only deliver the curriculum would inexorably stifle the mathematical learning experience. Experiential learning, such as Prof Hölzl’s use of GeoGebra, enhances conceptual understanding as opposed to learners doing drill and practice without necessarily understanding the concepts underpinning their classroom activities.
In our evaluation of the GeoGebra intervention here is what some of the pupils had to say:
I enjoyed everything about GeoGebra. Everytime I am here I feel so excited and calm.
I enjoyed all the sessions. It was very nice to calculate Mathematics using computers ‘cause all of us we didn’t know that we can work Mathematics in computers.
In short words – I really would love to work with GeoGebra everyday if I could.
Source:Maths Ed Chair News