Page: 33-44 Author: Krejčová, E., Vosyková, B. Key words: didactics of mathematics, primary-school level, methods and forms of work, group and co-operative learning, competition, didactic game, research
The paper is based on the belief that one of the most important conditions of good results in the teaching-learning process is getting the pupils interested, and activation of their efforts to think, s. This is influenced not only by the character of the subject but mainly by the attitude of the teacher - the methods and forms of work used. One of the approaches discussed from the point of view of the teachers is the technique of including competitions into the learning process. We tried to compare these opinions with reality - under the conditions of teaching mathematics at primary school level. We observed teachers‘s attitudes but mainly pupils‘ opinions of these activities.
The paper presents the results of the re-search among pupils of 1st up to 5th grades of primary school (age 6 to 11). The pupils addressed (1,119) tried out team and individual competitions and in the form of a questionnaire expressed their opinions (I like, I don‘t know, I don‘t like) of both types of competitions as well as of competitions in mathematics generally.
Even though we have to be careful in drawing general conclusions, some of these findings may be supposed to have wider validity.
First and foremost, pupils seen to very interested in competitions in maths lessons very much. They prefer team competitions (76 per cent) to individual ones (48 per cent).
Moreover, pupils‘ experience from team competitions can be used in their real lives.
At the same time teachers (57) expressed positive attitudes to competitions and competing in the teaching-learning process - teachers‘ reflections were part of the research. They agree (97 per cent) that the activities observed increase the performance motivation of the pupils, who then learn with greater attention and more effective results.
We can conclude that the proven interest of pupils in competitions and competing in the teaching-learning process, and attitudes of the teachers towards these activities and their didactiv benefits, could be an incentive for their wider use.