The large variation in students’ learning experiences across mathematics classrooms: When might it be a problem and how might it be addressed?

Presented by Dr Andreas J. Stylianides, University of Cambridge

A large variation is observed in students’ learning experiences across mathematics classrooms. Drawing on the findings of an interview study, Dr Andreas J. Stylianides will suggest that this variation is intensified in England as compared to other countries (e.g., the USA) due to teachers’ highly individualised “resource packages” in planning and delivering their lessons.

Part of the variation is welcome (e.g., as an indication of teachers’ professional autonomy) and unproblematic in many cases, he says. Yet it becomes a problem when teachers are dealing with academically important but hard-to-teach and hard-to-learn goals, as individual approaches tend to have limited success in addressing these goals.

In his design-based research, Dr Andreas J. Stylianides developed an instructional approach for the teaching and learning of these goals that narrows the variation in students’ learning experiences across different implementations of classroom-based interventions. He will discuss this approach and consider challenges regarding its possible adoption in England.

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