Using visualisation in maths teaching
Using visualisation in maths teaching

This free course is available to start right now. Review the full course description and key learning outcomes and create an account and enrol if you want a free statement of participation.

Free course

Using visualisation in maths teaching

1. A powerful force for perception and understanding

‘Imagery is a powerful force for perception and understanding. Being able to “see” something mentally is a common metaphor for understanding it. An image may be of some geometrical shape, or of a graph or diagram, or it may be some set of symbols or some procedure.’

(Open University, 1988, p. 10)

This course uses the word visualisation synonymously with mental imagery. It happens as we articulate our thoughts and as we understand what we are doing.

Each of the four sections in this course should further develop your thinking on visualisation.

Starters

The main purpose of this course is to encourage you to form images and be aware of your experiences of visualisation.

What does visualisation mean?

In ‘What does visualisation mean?’, you will find quotes and readings about visualisation, followed by an opportunity to compare your views with those of some other secondary-school mathematics teachers. By the end of this section you should be confident that you know what visualisation means.

In the classroom

‘In the classroom’ describes a lesson in which visualising provides an introduction for the students, another worthwhile and interesting activity, and some ways to use resources to promote and stimulate visualisation.

Conclusion

The conclusion points to some recommended books that will be useful if you want to think a little more seriously about visualisation, as well as highlighting where visualisation is incorporated into the framework for mathematics school teaching.

TL_MATHT9

Take your learning further

Making the decision to study can be a big step, which is why you'll want a trusted University. The Open University has 50 years’ experience delivering flexible learning and 170,000 students are studying with us right now. Take a look at all Open University courses.

If you are new to university level study, find out more about the types of qualifications we offer, including our entry level Access courses and Certificates.

Not ready for University study then browse over 900 free courses on OpenLearn and sign up to our newsletter to hear about new free courses as they are released.

Every year, thousands of students decide to study with The Open University. With over 120 qualifications, we’ve got the right course for you.

Request an Open University prospectus