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Deep thinking

Mathematical ideas are rarely taught in one lesson. Some teachers and researchers say that a student needs to meet an idea 100 times for it to be understood well.

Of course, this does not mean 100 repetitive exercises. In fact, it means quite the opposite: that students need to meet the one idea in many different ways and contexts.

It takes time to engage with an idea deeply. Students need to:

  • connect a new idea with what they already know
  • think and talk about it
  • be challenged to apply and extend it
  • recall it for use in various contexts.

Promoting deep thinking

Appropriate teacher expectations help to promote deep thinking.