Document Type

Article

Journal/Book Title/Conference

Education Sciences

Volume

7

Issue

1

Publisher

MDPI

Publication Date

3-3-2017

First Page

1

Last Page

13

DOI

10.3390/educsci7010037

Abstract

For children with persistent mathematics difficulties, research and practice espouses that an altered kind of mathematics instruction is necessary due to sustained performance differences. Yet, a critical issue in mathematics education rests in the question of why research locates the problem within these children. In this paper, we challenge a longstanding assumption about the type of mathematics children with low achievement in mathematics “need” along with how these children are positioned in terms of mathematical thinking and reasoning. Our aim in this work is to identify ways of reasoning evident in the partitioning activity of 43 fifth-grade children as they solved equal sharing situations independent of instruction over ten sessions. Results reveal three themes of reasoning that show a resemblance between these children’s reasoning and existing frameworks of reasoning in equal sharing problems found in prior research among children who did not show low achievement in mathematics. We discuss the results in terms of the problem of a continued conceptualization of low achieving students’ need for specific kinds of teaching and learning experiences and/or detached instructional experiences in school. We advocate for an increase in research that examines how teachers can support participation of these children in mathematics classrooms such that children might develop powerful mathematics conceptions.

Share

COinS
 
 

To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.