I never heard of the Van Hiele levels of geometric thought before it was brought up in class. I was intrigued by this theory and was researching it when I stumbled upon this article. The theory makes a lot of sense to me and allows for students to smoothly transition through the stages as their knowledge and abilities grow. A key point made within the article is that the “theory does not explicitly tell teachers how to teach geometry, but can help teachers assess what level their students are working at”. Like many things in the world of education, this does not do the teaching, rather it is a tool that teachers can use to help with their teaching.
As this article was found on a learning disabilities website it was only appropriate that the author of the article showed the connection. The approach that is gone over in detail includes five phases that teachers should incorporate at each level to have more success in aiding the student’s progression through the levels. The phases break each step down and allow the teacher to build upon knowledge in a way that easier and more beneficial for the students while also allowing them to have the most possible success in terms to learning.
The article concluded with eleven strategies for instruction. This was wonderful for me, a “teacher in training” as it allowed me to take the ideas that were discussed and see how they could be brought into the classroom.
After reading the article I am left wondering if similar phases and levels to those of the Van Hiele Theory could be used in other subject areas. I’m sure they can be used in other math subcategories, but I wonder if science or history would follow a similar progression.
Examining the van Hiele Theory: Strategies to Develop Geometric Thought. (n.d.). Retrieved September 16, 2015.