Paper Example on Teacher's Beliefs and Teaching Mathematics with Manipulatives

Published: 2021-07-19
683 words
3 pages
6 min to read
Harvey Mudd College
Type of paper: 
Article review
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This journal explores the execution of manipulatives to mathematics as an instructional subject which was carried out among grade 9 students. Teachers wanted to find out the impact of using manipulatives as a strategical component in the mathematics subject while exploring its influence onto learners ability, disabling and enabling components. The pedagogical factors of this article also aimed at the promotion of effective learning techniques incorporated into mathematically based classrooms through the use of manipulatives. Teachers, in this case, were seen to enable students into creating their knowledge build around the subject while finding ways of solving conceptual mathematical concepts on their own.

It is important to note, however, the process of teaching manipulatives through mathematics is not a new concept as it for a period of time now has been based on the usage of beans, counters and traditional skills. These have however been replaced by advanced systems which entail the use of fraction circles, technologies and linking cubes viable in todays classrooms. Piaget (1952) is viewed as one of the earliest proponents whose suggestion on the comprehension of mathematics lays a foundation on the usage of manipulatives to date. Piaget in his argument proposed that mathematics as a subject could not be understood while being taught through lectures, notes, and explanations. He suggested that the subject required instruments and relevant models for the learners grasp, understanding, and comprehension of the discipline to be achieved.


In a similar manner (Reimer & Moyer, 2005) do concur with Piaget that through manipulatives students of mathematics have since developed different attitudes and outlooks as far as the subject is concerned. Besides, as a teacher these key points resonate with the implementation of manipulatives in a class of mathematics. Vinson (2001) states that since the introduction and use of the same, the teacher's confidence and efficacy levels have thus doubled because teachers have less anxiety as pertains the mathematical strategies, techniques, approaches, and methods they would use in class.

Newer insights and discoveries garnered from this article also resonate with Moyer & Jones (2004) who state categorically that elementary school teachers who tend to ignore the importance and dexterity of manipulatives have since failed traversely. This is so in ignoring the use of these techniques in the classroom and with ones students then no learning will take place and such teachers need to change their perceptions and embrace the above-mentioned methodology. In matters of specificity, I would incorporate the instrumental and concise step by step procedural in my lessons (Hiebert & Wearne, 1992) because I would love for my students to tackle mathematics in that manner.

In conclusion, as a teacher, I am inclined into submission that there are no actual guarantees for problem-solving methodologies in the world today. However, the use of rote learning whereby students were inclined into memorizing algorithms, formulas, symbolic and numerical concepts in a bid to configure a question and get an answer is an outdated system. As a teacher, the conceptualization of a step by step system ensures that my students do get to see and appreciate how a mathematical problem is solved and the process being involving as well enables understanding of mathematical concepts for my learners. The knowledge garnered in this field of study enables my view concerning the future of mathematics as follows: that the use of manipulatives changes my attitude and my students towards the discipline. I also highly recommend it for any elementary based school teacher as it is proven and worthy of a trial.


Hiebert, J. and Wearne, D. (1992). Links between teaching and learning place value with understanding in first grade. Journal for Research in Mathematics Education, 23, 98-122.

Moyer, P. S., & Jones, M. G. (2004). Controlling choice: Teachers, students, and manipulatives in mathematics classrooms. School Science and Mathematics, 104, 16-31.

Piaget, J. (1952). The childs conception of number. New York, NY: Humanities Press.

Reimer, K. & Moyer, P.S. (2005). Third-graders learn about fractions using virtual manipulatives: A classroom study. Journal of Computers in Mathematics and Science Teaching, 24(1), 5-25.

Vinson, B. M. (2001). A comparison of pre-service teachers' mathematics anxiety before and after a methods class emphasizing manipulatives. Early Childhood Education Journal, 29(2), 89-94.


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