This chapter is about interactive teaching and learning. Interactive teaching/learning is the process, by means of which learners acquire information through interaction. Currently, interactive learning incorporates the use of tangible equipments, such as computers, to facilitate the availability of virtue learning materials to students. Young children commence learning through both passive and interactive means. Nevertheless, studies have indicated that the childhood knowledge is acquired passively. Interactive learning becomes apparent, since children enhance their physical movement, much of which is prompted by an inner urge to fulfill their aspirations. As children mature, they continue learning through passive and interactive means, though a response to each of these methods varies (Kim & Axelrod, 2005).
When children begin schooling, teachers employ various forms of interactive methods, since they try to keep their pupils involved. Nevertheless, studies have indicated that, at times, teachers may fail to engage their students adequately enough, especially while introducing new topics. Thus, educationists have concluded that such subjects as biology, chemistry and mathematics are better learnt through experimentation than passive listening (Kim & Axelrod, 2005). Experimentation facilitates a powerful grasp, since it presents an opportunity to learn through the manipulation of such real objects, as beads and blocks. As learning proceeds, the usage of computer becomes important, since students can access a wide range of online materials, get engaged in charts and participate in educative contests (Mezirow, 1997) .
Most studies have indicated that the best learning happens when institutions establish an effective hybrid between passive and interactive approaches. This chapter focuses on learning theories proposed by such psychologists as Vygotsky, Piaget and Dewey. It reviews the applicability of these theories in teaching math in the contemporary educational setting. Ultimately, it is established that constructivism is the most applicable learning theory, especially when its face-to-face and online aspects are incorporated to form a hybrid.
Interactive teaching refers to a style or strategy of teaching, when learners construct their own meanings on the basis of their experiences within the frameworks utilized in the curriculum. Basically, the style is based on constructivism. However, definitions for learning objectives are often in conflict with the constructivism philosophy (Vygotsky, 1978). Conflicts result from the fact that there exist several learning theories, which do not always have similar ideas. Interactive teaching requires teachers to challenge student’s thinking process, when they interact, a scenario, which is aimed at exposing learners to new ideas and thoughts. This extra role is referred to as focused teaching, and, in this case, a teacher is regarded to be a cognition coach. Therefore, a teacher is not expected to give students an opportunity to struggle with ideas, until they find sense in their learning experience (Mezirow, 1997) .
Interactive teaching takes students’ original aims into consideration, since it endeavors to empower and help them become independent learners. Additionally, interactive teaching offers teachers an opportunity to enhance their knowledge, since they utilize their interactive capacity in listening and challenging students’ misconceptions. Therefore, teachers’ prior knowledge remains to be an important factor in this educating strategy. Interactive learning apportions time for diagnosing students’ understanding, whether individually or as a class, before prompting them to enhance their thinking. It necessitates an effective class management fashion, when teachers are allowed space to interact with students and other teachers (Vygotsky, 1978).
Interactive teaching provides a focused approach, which is best witnessed in math programmes. In such programmes, a teacher utilizes a focused teaching strategy, which is applicable to various curriculums. For instance, in situations, when teachers introduce several activities, for example, during a mathematics lesson, interactive teaching provides timely and purposeful interaction. The strategy facilitates space and time in a manner, which enables teachers to assume the role of activity managers. This chapter evaluates an impact of learning theories and their rubrics on interactive teaching in a math class. The evaluation incorporates the review of face-to-face, online and hybrid learning. Ultimately, it is concluded that constructivism, which is a hybrid of various ideas and forms of learning, is a desirable for those educators, who wish to get engaged in interactive teaching (Kim & Axelrod, 2005).