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Making connections to prior learning and experience

To make sense of a new concept or skill, students need to be able to integrate new learning to their existing mathematical and statistical understandings in a variety of ways.

Examples of actions that teachers can take to make connections to prior learning and experiences:

- using the P-K theory teaching model – using imaging to link materials and generalisations
- checking prior knowledge using a variety of
diagnostic strategies
- encouraging students to write stories for mathematical models
- providing learning experiences which develop relational understanding (Skemp, 1976) of mathematics and statistics
- providing real-life problems in which the context is relevant to the student.

## Specific activities

## Further information

- Anthony, G., & Walshaw, M. (2009). Making connections.
*Effective pedagogy in mathematics. *(PDF 320KB) *(*pp. 15-16). Belley: Gonnet Imprimeur.
- Pirie, S., & Kieren, T. (1989). A recursive theory of mathematical understanding.
*For the Learning of Mathematics, 9(3*).
- Pirie, S., & Kieren, T. (1994). Beyond metaphor: Formalising in mathematical understanding within constructivist environments.
*For the Learning of Mathematics, 14(1).*
- Pirie, S., & Martin, L. (2000). The role of collecting in the growth of mathematical understanding.
*Mathematics Education Research Journal*, 12(2), 127–146.
- Skemp, R. (1976) Instrumental Understanding and Relational Understanding
*Mathematics Teaching*, 77, 20–26. Retrieved from
http://www.skemp.org.uk/ [click on papers].

Last updated September 26, 2012

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