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The Foundation of Mathematical Instruction at Lorien Wood School, Part 3

December 09, 2021
By Abigail Reynolds, Form 4 Math

Individual Emphasis and Diverse Instruction

There should be a freedom for each student to ascertain a truth, that is in both a general topic and an individual problem, in a way that makes most sense to them. As with most things, a balance must be present here; there is something to be said for implementing general routines while also stretching a student to be exposed to different styles of learning. A developing mind learns both what style best fits and is challenged in exposure to methods that are not preferred. Understanding that every child has a different mind is a display of respect for their individual identity and worth. They already have the vehicle of understanding; a child “always has all the mind he requires for his occasions; that is, that his mind is the instrument of his education and that his education does not produce his mind.” Our responsibility, then, is not to create a child’s mind but to teach him how to use the unique mind he has to understand the truths of this world. There are truths and our students can know them—we desire to teach them how to attain those truths through the methods they are able. Mathematics is an exhibition of strict theorems, clearly shown to be proven through analysis. And though there are recommended ways of doing, these are not exclusive and we must foster the ability for students to be creative in ascertaining those truths.