I'M A MILLIPEDE… I’M DIFFERENT… SO WHAT? - A PROPOSAL FOR TEACHING AND LEARNING STATISTICS
Universidade de Trás-os-Montes e Alto Douro (PORTUGAL)
About this paper:
Conference name: 15th annual International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
Dates: 7-9 November, 2022
Location: Seville, Spain
Abstract:The world has changed, and society has changed. Nowadays, exclusionary behaviours, by gender, race, social orientation, learning difficulties, or any other type of difference are no longer accepted. Everyone must have a place in a modern society that does not divide but welcomes and knows how to take advantage of differences, to become stronger and more inclusive. The school cannot remain indifferent to this change and must reinvent itself, providing pupils with differentiated tasks and knowing how to mark the difference between equality and equity. You cannot give all pupils the same task, the same curriculum materials, use the same methodology or the same teaching time. One must ensure learning for all pupils, but not the same teaching for all. Regardless of their origin characteristics, all pupils should have the possibility of achieving good results. In the specific case of teaching and learning mathematics, in many cases lessons focus on routine skills and procedures, giving little attention to meaningful mathematical learning. In the specific case of teaching and learning mathematics, in many instances lessons focus on routine skills and procedures, giving little attention to meaningful mathematical learning. Furthermore, pupils marked as weak are in a circle of low expectations, because little is expected of them, they put in little effort and give up easily on trying to achieve certain goals. In this context, classroom environments that foster a sense of community, which enables pupils to accept differences and communicate their mathematical ideas, positively influence the participation of all pupils. Using stories for childhood in conjunction with other curricular areas provides a favourable environment for the child's imagination, promoting the introduction of new concepts and the consolidation of previous learning, in a pleasurable way. A child who is motivated, attentive, and involved in the tasks proposed by the teacher has a natural predisposition for learning. Children's stories create teaching and learning contexts that are close to the children’s world, which children readily understand, and that are challenging for them. If mathematics is one of the areas in which children have more difficulties, and therefore do not like it so much, the use of stories can be a way of arousing their interest, helping them to perceive learning as valuable, useful and stimulating. By recognising the relationship between the elements present in the story and the concepts relating to mathematics, pupils solidify previous knowledge and learn new notions. This provides an opportunity to explore and analyse mathematics contents as well as the story, developing skills in various areas. Following these ideas, we propose a didactic sequence for the 2nd cycle of basic education, with the objective of approaching the measures of central tendency, mode, average and median, presenting them as a summary of the data, previously collected and organised, and inserted in a motivating and integrating story of difference, whose main characters are caterpillars. We believe that after completing the tasks included in this sequence, pupils will be better able to critically analyse which measure is appropriate to summarise data depending on its nature, and at the same time learn to respect and value differences. This proposal thus offers a way of learning in a playful manner, while defending values within the framework of inclusion and respect for difference.
Keywords: Mathematics teaching and learning, didactic sequence, stories for children, statistics, social inclusion.