CURIOSITY IS THE WICK IN THE CANDLE OF LEARNING, A CHANGE IN TUTORIAL STYLE IN MATHEMATICS

A. D'Arcy-Warmington

Curtin University (AUSTRALIA)
“Curiosity is the wick in the candle of learning”. - William A. Ward [1]
“A tutorial is a method of transferring knowledge and may be used as a part of a learning process. More interactive and specific than a book or a lecture; a tutorial seeks to teach by example and supply the information to complete a certain task”, this definition probably evokes memories of the usual mathematics or statistics tutorial [2]. A set of problems distributed for completion before the tutorial with the aim of reinforcing the previous week’s lecture material. In an ideal world, students would complete the assigned tasks and enter the classroom prepared for more challenges. In reality, only a minority of students behaved in this manner yet at most institutions the tutorial will still be conducted in this manner. This paper will be a reflection on a different tutorial style for mathematics not necessarily new, which has been introduced at my tertiary institution last semester. Students working together, using whiteboards not paper, on carefully selected unseen problems distributed at the start of the class with complete worked solutions circulated at the end of class. Will this spark the curiosity of students to be active learners rather than passive participants?