I was sitting in Leeds when it happened, I realized ‘I have taught math wrong for over a decade!’
I had joined a group of science, math teachers and professors to visit Leeds University, UK, because it was famous for their research of science teaching. It was explicitly based on a constructive view of learning.
I was placed in small groups, forced to solve problems working together. Talking, testing and finally coming to a consensus within our group. I was amazed, even choked when the Finnish professors in our group did not have the right answer to the problem! I could see that they were facing the same situation as me and many other teachers.
We began to think what learning really is. When are you best at learning, what kind of environment helps you to learn. That was the “spiritual” starting point of Paths to Math.
During the following years we began to develop new materials for math lessons. We tested it in our classrooms across Finland. Our material differed a lot from the common math books, which based more on behavioral way of learning. Once we knew we had it, we found a publishing house to print our material into textbooks.
One of the high points in my career was when I had a chance to tell our math ideas for eLearning material to prof. Howard Garner, upon his visit to Helsinki, Spring 2010. My conversation with him only supported our decision. We then started with Paths to Math in the cloud.
Big publishing houses want to sell books with little or no changes from previous books. The knowledge we have regarding learning changes. We have more information and an ever changing environment around us. We are in balance when schools must prove that they are still the best place for learning and developing of a child’s mind.
We refuse to let children do trivial exercises, alone in rows with textbooks, tablets or PC’s. We want to give them a different path for learning – alone, in pairs, groups or individually with the help of eLearning material in various teaching methods and learning environments.
Please feel free to sing-up for your free Paths to Math account from our web-pages. You can see first chapter in every Module. www.pathstomath.com