Minimal interventions in the teaching of mathematics

Foster, Colin (2014) Minimal interventions in the teaching of mathematics. European Journal of Science and Mathematics Education, 2 (3). pp. 147-154. ISSN 2301-251X

PDF - Requires a PDF viewer such as GSview, Xpdf or Adobe Acrobat Reader
Download (194kB) | Preview


This paper addresses ways in which mathematics pedagogy can benefit from insights gleaned from counselling. Person-centred counselling stresses the value of genuineness, warm empathetic listening and minimal intervention to support people in solving their own problems and developing increased autonomy. Such an approach contrasts starkly with the much more directive and leading interventions often made by mathematics teachers in the classroom. In this position paper I argue that minimal teacher interventions are a powerful way to support students in their learning of mathematics. Drawing on the interplay between a mathematics teacher’s responsibility to teach mathematics and their duty to support students pastorally, I argue that such an approach builds on skills that teachers already possess and has considerable potential to enhance students’ healthy mathematical development.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: Counselling; Learned helplessness; Mathematics teaching; Pastoral care; Student autonomy; Teacher interventions
Schools/Departments: University of Nottingham, UK > Faculty of Social Sciences > School of Education
Depositing User: Foster, Dr Colin
Date Deposited: 21 Jan 2015 14:49
Last Modified: 27 Jun 2018 09:32

Actions (Archive Staff Only)

Edit View Edit View