Learning coherent mathematics through sequences of microtasks: making a difference for secondary learners

Watson, Anne and De Geest, Els (2012). Learning coherent mathematics through sequences of microtasks: making a difference for secondary learners. International Journal of Science and Mathematics Education, 10(1) pp. 213–235.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s10763-011-9290-3

Abstract

We report on the work of 3 schools which set out to make a difference for their previously low-attaining students. Through naturalistic enquiry over 3 years, we built a picture of their practices. Against a national trend, students reported positive attitudes to mathematics and, in 2 out of 3 schools, showed improvement in attainment, so we probe more deeply into the teaching. The lessons broadly conformed to an approach combining inclusive participation with complex and coherent development of mathematical ideas. To understand how the teachers orchestrated this, we developed lesson analysis techniques that focus on how thinking, repertoire and understanding are scaffolded by teachers through sequences of microtasks.

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