Friday, November 20, 2009

Topic: Student Journals in Learning Math

10-second review: Students became more conscious of their learning processes when they kept a journal in mathematics.

Title: The Effects of Process Journal Writing on Learning in Mathematics: A Study of Metacognitive Processes. PW Human. Dissertation Abstracts International, 53, 3796-A. (University Microfilms No. 93-06, 920).

Summary: 14 students over 8 weeks. Demonstrated metacognitive awareness of their learning, and of mathematical processes, recognized their learning difficulties, and applied learning strategies. The metacognitive awareness of low ability students increased more than did that of the average or high groups.

Comment: I’m not a big fan of students keeping journals of personal experience for the purpose of gaining fluency in writing. Too personal. I’m an English teacher, not a psychologist or psychiatrist. I am a big fan of students’ keeping journals in subjects in which they record difficulties they are experiencing in learning the subject, descriptions of processes of learning and questions for the teacher. If the teachers regularly review these journals, they will understand more clearly how effectively they are teaching. RayS.

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