The MTGK classroom features well-designed lessons, passionately trained teachers, and a positive and stress-free environment. Each instructor is trained to teach using MTGK methodologies.
Enrolled students attend our classes for one hour each week, over the course of a 15-week semester. There, our teachers employ the methods they have learned through their training to guide and engage their students through a well-planned and curriculum-backed lesson plan. Our typical class size ranges from 3 to 15 students, with an upper limit of 18 students in the more popular time-slots. Seats in the class are on a first-come first-serve basis.
At MTGK, the main approach to teaching is the Socratic method. Our instructors are trained to avoid lecturing in favor of asking carefully crafted questions. The questions aren’t simply “How” or “Why” questions. They are questions designed to bridge the gap between what a student considers familiar to what is unfamiliar to them. We take an unfamiliar concept, and use what students know as a baseline building up to the discovery of the theorem for themselves.
For example, when tackling the area of triangles, we might start with:
“How do I find the area of a rectangle?”
This is a review question, so students should be able to answer: base times height! Then, the following series of questions can be asked:
“Okay let’s keep that in mind. Now, let’s pretend this rectangle (and the teacher draws it on the board) is my backyard. I want to dedicate half of it to making a garden. How can I cut this rectangle in half?”
This question is the set-up. As informed observers, we can already see where we’re going. But students who have not yet learned how to calculate the area of a triangle will be in for a treat. It’s a well-defined question: though not straight to the point, it obviously guides students in the direction necessary for developing a way to calculate the area of a triangle. Additionally, this question creates a bit of an open-ended activity for the students to engage in. There isn’t one correct answer, so we can have many students participate. However, the teacher will lean on the answer of cutting the triangle diagonally. The teacher can draw all the different ways in which the students have come up with cutting the rectangle in half and then ask:
“How big will my garden be?” or “How much space do these shapes have?”
Notice now, instead of directly asking about area, the teacher asks about size (how big, or how much space), which is the concept of area. In this way, we reinforce area and give our students a stronger understanding of the concept. Also, this question basically asks, “What is the area of this triangle?” in a way that is more relatable to students through the example that was set up. Through the Socratic method, this is the type of learning experience our teachers aim to provide.