School of Education
Integrated Studies: Elementary--Teacher Certification
mathematics instruction, conceptual understanding, hands-on approach, hands-on activities
Educational Methods | Science and Mathematics Education
Korn, Jessica, "Teaching Conceptual Understanding of Mathematics via a Hands-On Approach" (2014). Senior Honors Theses. 476.
Given the current developments in the field of mathematics instruction in the United States, conceptual understanding and a hands-on approach in mathematics are two topics of importance. Conceptual understanding of mathematics is often lacking but characterizes the core of what mathematics actually is. Using a hands-on approach presents an effective way to teach conceptual understanding of mathematics. In order to argue this, a presentation of the underlying theories of mathematical understanding and pertinent approaches is given. Then follows an investigation of three studies pertinent to using a hands-on approach in teaching conceptual understanding of mathematics: one related to implementation (Gürbüz, Çatlioğl, Bìrgìn, & Erdem, 2010), one related to tools (Özgün-Koca & Edwards, 2011), and one related to evaluation (Bartell, Webel, Bowen, & Dyson, 2013). Furthermore, an example of a hands-on mathematical activity in geometry (Tipps, Johnson, & Kennedy, 2011) which could be implemented in a real-life classroom is presented. A discussion then follows, providing interpretation and implications, such as the connection to differentiation, to teaching conceptual understanding using a hands-on approach.