“For serious long-term learning, one does not learn facts, one acquires a culture” (Jones, n.d., Mathematics Education Reform). Truly, our country unquestionably lacks a math culture. The people on the front lines of mathematics education, the classroom teachers, see it everyday. Students are disinterested and disheartened with math instruction. Based on 2003 result of the Trends in Math and Science Study or TIMSS, we ranked 23rd among 25 countries in Math for the 4th graders and 40th among 45 countries for the second year high school (Understanding the Trends in Math and Science Study (TIMSS): A Closer Look at Filipino Students Functional Literacy in Math and Science, n.d., para. 1-3). The result shows the need for teachers to find effective ways to improve the teaching and learning of math; ways of teaching that require students, not only to be more active, but to reflect on their work to encourage them to make strong constructions that result in increased conceptual knowledge and more connections.
Productive effective youth of today and adults of tomorrow are different from the productive effective youth and adults of yesterday due to advances of knowledge and technology that the 21st century brings. This in turn requires a modification in the role of teachers in educating the youth. The teacher was once the walking repository of knowledge, experience and information. It was believed that educating the youth primarily has involved the transmission of knowledge. Lecture and recitation were the common formats of instruction used. The teacher is now more of a designer of the learning environment than someone who dispenses knowledge in a magisterial way. The National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM), the largest mathematics organization in the whole world, emphasized the development of mathematical reasoning and higher-order thinking skills (NCTM, 2003). It is not enough for students to know facts...