Constructions Of Equality In A Mathematics Classroom.

Ollerton, Mike (1998). Constructions Of Equality In A Mathematics Classroom. MPhil thesis The Open University.



This thesis is a personal research journey, made through reflective anecdotes about notable events in classrooms. Explicit statements of my values as a teacher emerge from this analysis of my practice.

There are four main chapters:
Classroom Atmosphere identifies elements inherent in my interactions with children;
Curriculum Development accounts for the change in my pedagogy from a scheme-based to a problem-solving approach;
Teaching and Learning examines my perceptions of the different ways children learn mathematics and the types of strategies I have developed to support their learning;
Issues on working with un-settled groups provides a historical perspective on my mixed-ability teaching and explores my rationale in differentiating children's learning outcomes through accessible starting points and a range of extension tasks.

Throughout my research I pay attention both to children's academic and emotional development, and consider how issues relating to the content of the curriculum, to differential rates of learning, to how learning is fostered, and issues of non-selectivity of children within learning groups are inextricably linked. A key task has been to show the interconnectedness of issues, whilst demonstrating my understanding of each as a separate issue.

The evidence from my research demonstrates that it is both feasible and valid to provide children with their entitlement to equal opportunities in learning mathematics without separating them into pre-determined ability groups which are self-fulfilling, limiting and inherently discriminatory.

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