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Elementary teachers on orchestrating teaching for mathematically highly able pupils
Karlstad University, Faculty of Health, Science and Technology (starting 2013), Department of Mathematics and Computer Science (from 2013).ORCID iD: 0000-0001-8449-130X
Karlstad University, Faculty of Health, Science and Technology (starting 2013), Department of Mathematics and Computer Science (from 2013).ORCID iD: 0000-0001-6525-9871
Karlstad University, Faculty of Health, Science and Technology (starting 2013), Department of Mathematics and Computer Science (from 2013).ORCID iD: 0000-0002-7956-8795
2019 (English)In: The Montana Mathematics Enthusiast, ISSN 1551-3440, E-ISSN 1551-3440, Vol. 16, no 1-3, article id 8Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Studies on high ability in mathematics rarely take a teacher’s perspective. The purpose of our study is to add such a perspective, which we will do by using positioning theory to analyze elementary teachers’ discussions on mathematical tasks, aiming to challenge all pupils, including the highly able. The study is conducted in the context of a two-year long teacher professional development program on high ability. Teachers expressed both their teaching and the mathematical tasks as helpful in orchestrating teaching suitable for highly able pupils. They highlight the opportunities given by some tasks as well as the importance of guiding highly able pupils to go further in such tasks. However, they expressed their own limited mathematical knowledge and time needed for pupils with learning difficulties as obstacles to orchestrate teaching for the highly able. The results show that it is important to, in close cooperation with teachers, further explore how to orchestrate teaching that challenges highly able pupils.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
University of Montana , 2019. Vol. 16, no 1-3, article id 8
Keywords [en]
High ability, Mathematics, Positioning theory, Professional development, Teachers
National Category
Pedagogical Work Mathematics
Research subject
Educational Work; Mathematics didactics
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:kau:diva-69486OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kau-69486DiVA, id: diva2:1253521
Available from: 2018-10-05 Created: 2018-10-05 Last updated: 2018-11-22Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Harnessing teachers’ perspectives: Recognizing mathematically highly able pupils and orchestrating teaching for them in a diverse ability classroom
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Harnessing teachers’ perspectives: Recognizing mathematically highly able pupils and orchestrating teaching for them in a diverse ability classroom
2018 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

There is a lack of research that explores teachers’ perspectives on teaching highly able pupils (HAPs) in the diverse ability classroom. Instead, pupils’ perspectives are common, such studies often concluding that teachers need more professional development or that they fail to support HAPs. Consequently, previous research does not support teachers in how to implement teaching that includes HAPs. This thesis aims to harness teachers’ perspectives of pedagogical possibilities that enable learning opportunities for mathematically highly able pupils (MHAPs). By comparing pupils’ (n=264) relative achievement on two different tests, traditional and non-traditional, the first part of this thesis explores teachers’ possibilities to recognize MHAPs. The results show that pupils who achieved highly on the non-traditional test, but not on the other, have higher problem-solving competence compared to pupils who achieved highly on the traditional test instead. The second part presents a teacher-initiated investigation of pupils’ perceptions of challenging mathematical tasks. The findings indicate that the developed tool can help teachers find suitable tasks for MHAPs. The final part uses positioning theory to analyze teachers’ (N=17) discussions and probe their perceptions on orchestrating teaching MHAPs. The findings show that the teachers have knowledge of how to recognize and support MHAPs. Specifically, the teachers express possibilities with challenging tasks and differentiated education to meet MHAPs’ learning needs. Furthermore, the teachers perceived fewer rights than duties to orchestrate teaching for MHAPs’, for example, to continuously asses them. The studies in this thesis support teachers to orchestrate teaching including MHAPs in the diverse ability classroom. Both practice and research can be guided by what the teachers in these studies perceived as possible to do to orchestrate such teaching. Thereby support is given to teachers, from teachers, through research.

Abstract [en]

This thesis harnesses teachers’ perspectives of pedagogical possibilities that enable learning opportunities for mathematically highly able pupils (MHAPs). Firstly, teachers’ possibilities to recognize MHAPs through assessment are explored. The results show that pupils with high problem-solving competence can achieve highly on a non-traditional test, whereas they do not on traditional tests. Secondly, a teacher-initiated investigation of pupils’ perceptions of challenging mathematical tasks is presented. The findings indicate that a developed tool can help teachers find suitable tasks for MHAPs. Finally, teachers’ (N=17) discussions are analysed and their perceptions on orchestrating teaching MHAPs are probed. The findings show that the teachers have knowledge of how to recognize and support MHAPs. Specifically, the teachers express possibilities with challenging tasks and differentiated education. Furthermore, the teachers perceived they have knowledge and competence to orchestrate teaching for MHAPs. The findings show that their knowledge is consistent with previous research on teaching highly able pupils (HAPs) to meet their learning needs. This thesis gives support, on orchestrating teaching that includes HAPs in learning, to teachers, from teachers, through research.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Karlstad: Karlstads universitet, 2018. p. 126
Series
Karlstad University Studies, ISSN 1403-8099 ; 2018:45
Keywords
High ability, Gifted education, Professional development, Mathematics, Differentiated education, Inclusive education, Teachers, Positioning theory
National Category
Pedagogical Work
Research subject
Educational Work
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kau:diva-69485 (URN)978-91-7063-882-4 (ISBN)978-91-7063-977-7 (ISBN)
Public defence
2018-12-10, Nyquistsalen, 9C 203, Karlstad, 10:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2018-11-19 Created: 2018-10-05 Last updated: 2018-11-20Bibliographically approved

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Mellroth, Elisabetvan Bommel, JorrytLiljekvist, Yvonne

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