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Mathematics confronts teachers with a pivotal question: Do we explain mathematics, or do we encourage students to think for themselves and form their own mental images, out of which they then generate mathematics?
Encouraging students to think for themselves, however, strengthens their productive capacities to engage in their own tentative explorations of the unknown, with dead-ends and errors along the way that serve as compost for the growth of fertile ideas and for the unfolding of an inner light, out of which mathematical structures crystallise in an inner space of imagination.
The reality of mathematical structures can only be experienced through inner production. Productivity is more effective in developing genuine mathematical understanding than receptivity and frees the spirit.
‘Opening Mathematics’ wants to encourage Waldorf teachers around the world to entrust students with more mathematical production through the use of open-ended mathematics problems in the classroom and to reflect upon their use. The sharing of experience will create a broad view of practices and understandings of mathematics education in Steiner Waldorf schools and can help to inspire and encourage others in developing their teaching practices.
More information about this project can be obtained here: www.erziehungskunst.de/en/article/waldorf-worldwide/waldorf100-opening-mathematics