MATHEMATICAL LEARNING BEFORE AND AFTER COVID-19: PRACTICES AND CONSEQUENCES
University of Salerno (ITALY)
About this paper:
Conference name: 17th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
Dates: 6-8 March, 2023
Location: Valencia, Spain
Abstract:The COVID-19 pandemic caused what the United Nations called the biggest education disruption in history, affecting 1.6 billion pupils. The first pandemic phase imposed a sudden transition from face-to-face teaching to emergency remote teaching. Distance learning was necessary to ensure educational continuity and, at the same time, it represented an opportunity to explore new ways of teaching.
The suspension of face-to-face activities had a negative impact on both student learning and participation in teaching practices. Many scientific studies and national-international surveys report a worsening in school performance and an increase in learning loss.
In particular, scientific disciplines have suffered the greatest learning loss. There are several causes: socio-cultural context; unfamiliarity with technologies on the part of both teachers and learners; the stress generated by the pandemic, which has amplified the already well-known problems relating to scientific learning; and the greater difficulties encountered by parents in supporting their children in carrying out homework.
The aim of this contribution is to focus on the strategies and methodologies adopted in Mathematics in both distance learning and blended learning in order to grasp their positive or negative impact on learning in the pandemic period.
The reference literature returns a vast production relating to the approaches used in scientific sectors (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) which make use of teaching practices based on authentic learning tasks. For example, Mathematics is best learned in the classroom, in fact Mathematics classroom is a laboratory of experiential practices, a place where students and teachers interact, negotiate, share and construct meanings according to a socio-constructivist perspective. This approach combines teacher-centered methodologies with student-centered ones, mobilizing metacognitive strategies both individually and collaboratively.
Methodologically, a literature review was carried out in order to draw a summary framework on the object of analysis.
The research questions that have guided this work are: What do the surveys show about mathematical learning during the pandemic? How much has distance learning impacted on mathematics teaching and learning? What are the most obvious consequences?
The analysis carried out shows that the learning losses were grafted onto a starting situation that already presented significant problems in the mathematical field.
A closer examination of the evidence shows that despite the many problems encountered, the distance learning experience offered innovative didactics practices to better engage learners. In this respect, the empirical data provide a wealth of useful indications for future interventions aimed at organizing an integrated digital teaching.
Keywords: Covid-19, distance learning, mathematical learning, learning loss, critical issues.