Teaching Assistant Level 3 Assignment 8

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Discuss 5 factors that may affect number skills development.

The first factor that may affect number skills development is national and community factors. A Country and community’s political, cultural, social and economic policies all contribute to the environment in which children develop. The success a country has in educating it’s children and producing a numerate population depends greatly on the country’s emphasis on the goal of numeracy for all, the resources it has available, and the mechanisms it has in place for providing effective programs and incentives that encourage number skills.

The second factor is home factors. Certain characteristics in a home can create a climate that encourages children to experiment and explore number skills such as, activities fostering numeracy, economic social and cultural resources, home-school connection and students’ out of school numeracy. Throughout a child’s development, the involvement of parents or caregivers remains central to the acquisition of number skills.

The third factor is school factors. Although the home is a rich environment for developing numeracy, for most children school remains the main environment for formal learning. Many factors in school affect number skills acquisition, directly or indirectly these could be the school policy and curriculum or the school environment and resources.

The fourth factor is classroom factors. Even though the curricular policies and resources of the school often set the tone for accomplishment in the classroom, students’ day to day classroom activities are likely to have a more direct impact on their number skills development than the school environment. The instructional approaches and materials used, the strategies employed to tech it, and the availability of books, technology, and other resources are clearly important to establishing teaching and learning patterns in the classroom. The teacher is very influential in the classroom environment. This can include his or her preparation and training, use of particular instructional approaches, and experience in teaching reading. Finally, the behaviours, attitudes, and numeracy level of classmates may influence the teacher’s instructional choices, thereby affecting a student’s number skills development.

The fifth factor is personal factors. There are a number of skills that pupils need to function in the classroom; literacy skills, numeracy skills, organisation, memory and comprehension. Some pupils have great difficulty in these areas and require access strategies that ensure that their difficulties don’t prevent them from acquiring and applying new knowledge which promote self-confidence and self-esteem. Learning is a social process. Pupils can develop greater knowledge and skills when working with others than they can on their own. Promotion of the use of paired and group work is therefore an advantage. Pupils in a classroom environment require the ability to listen, to understand, speak clearly, respond appropriately, express thought clearly and play and work co-operatively. There is a range of social and emotional skills that pupils need in order to become confident, motivated and independent learners. Amongst these are self-awareness, social skills, motivation and the ability to manage feelings. It is recognised that for some children lack of motivation, fear of failure, difficulties in recognising and managing feelings and handling relationships can create significant emotional and social barriers to learning which can often lead to absenteeism. There are wide ranges of sensory and physical difficulties, which can pose potential barriers to learning. Sensory difficulties can range from profound and permanent deafness or visual impairment through to lesser levels of loss, which may be only temporary. Physical difficulties can arise from physical, neurological or metabolic causes that only require appropriate access to educational facilities and needs, while some...
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