In 2015, when I seriously started to look at how a small group of interested persons (including myself) could assist children learning math in Jamaica, I had the INCORRECT impression that there did not exist widespread knowledge of how to reach students who were not being reached. Fast forward to today and the thing I find most shocking is the vast number of persons who know how to reach these students and who repeatedly say “There’s nothing wrong with the kids” and then on the other hand, the vast number of persons who believe that these students cannot learn.
If you are an educator who believes that students cannot learn, I highly recommend the first part (roughly 100 pages) of the series Teaching Student-Centered Mathematics (Level 1: Pre-K to Grade 2 ) by John Van de Walle. I read this book in February of this year and have had a mental transformation in terms of what is possible, not only with my students, but with the educators throughout our system.
These pages talk about why we want to teach children in a student-centered way and is relevant not only to math teachers, but all teachers of all levels.