But The Children Might Get Confused
Children get confused not because they solve problems in different ways. They get confused if they have the mindset that there is only one way of doing things. Such children get disoriented when they see a different way of doing things.
Children who have been immersed in a learning environment that promotes open-mindedness (agree to listen to but do not need to agree with friends) and flexible thinking grow up to be, well, open-minded and flexible. These children are not easily confused they listen to different ways to solve a problem.
In any case. We cannot afford for children to grow up and not able to take different perspectives.
In a class we had on Saturday, we have solved a problem on finding the maximum number of adults in a queue (a line) of 110 people where there were at least three teenagers between any two adults. They were trying to be the first to get iPhone 6, you see. The main method was to divide 110 by 4 and all was well although there was a little issue on interpretation of the remainder.
The class was invited to see if they can use 110 divided by 5 to solve the problem. Wouldn't children be confused if they are asked to do this? After all they have solved the problem already. Is there value in making them do 110:5 given that 110:4 appears to be more direct?
Slides are available on Ban Har's Facebook Album | Fundamentals of Mathematics Teaching
Photograph | Painting by children at Siam Paragon to celebrate Children's Day