Association of Teachers of Mathematics - Guiding Principles

Guiding Principles

The ability to operate mathematically is an aspect of human functioning which is as universal as language itself. Attention needs constantly to be drawn to this fact. Any possibility of intimidating with mathematical expertise is to be avoided.

The power to learn rests with the learner. Teaching has a subordinate role. The teacher has a duty to seek out ways to engage the power of the learner.

It is important to examine critically approaches to teaching and to explore new possibilities, whether deriving from research, from technological developments or from the imaginative and insightful ideas of others.

Teaching and learning are cooperative activities. Encouraging a questioning approach and giving due attention to the ideas of others are attitudes to be encouraged. Influence is best sought by building networks of contacts in professional circles.

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    For the child whose impulsiveness is indulged, who retains his primitive-discharge mechanisms, is not only an ill-behaved child but a child whose intellectual development is slowed down. No matter how well he is endowed intellectually, if direct action and immediate gratification are the guiding principles of his behavior, there will be less incentive to develop the higher mental processes, to reason, to employ the imagination creatively. . . .
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