n South African Journal of Higher Education - Using aesthetic emails in the mathematics classroom : some insights for teacher education




The purpose of this article is to show how aesthetic e-mails can be used in the mathematics classroom. Kilpatrick's (2001) five strands of mathematical proficiency, namely: conceptual understanding, procedural fluency, strategic competence, adaptive reasoning, and productive disposition, are used as a theoretical framework to show how e-mails can be used to develop learners' mathematical proficiency. For example, an e-mail text on the primitive Hindu-Arabic numerals is used to illustrate how the current numerals got their shapes; the Chinese multiplication style is used to show how learners can verify products obtained using the conventional method; a calendar problem is used to show how adaptive reasoning can be developed; and a problem on borrowing is used to show how learners can develop strategic competency. Based on the utility and motivational potential of these aesthetic e-mails, teacher education is challenged to produce millennium-compliant, socially responsible teachers who can utilise the technology available to learners to develop their understanding of mathematical concepts.


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