14 SES 12 A JS, Mathematics for All: Interactive and Dialogic Strategies to Success in Primary Mathematics
Symposium Joint Session NW 14 with NW 24
Social pedagogy is defined by Blatchford et al. (2003: 153) as teaching in which ‘the relationships between grouping size, interaction type and learning tasks are planned strategically’. Unfortunately, however, such planning is rare, and ‘the social pedagogic potential of classroom learning is therefore unrealised’. The Eurydice (2012) Report on Mathematics Education in Europe, shows only 38% of 9 year-olds reported substantial time working in small groups in mathematics with highest levels in UK, but the nature and effectiveness of these groups is not reported. Despite positive findings on groupwork generally, its effects in mathematics have been less clear. The Hong Kong – UK Social Pedagogical Contexts in Teaching and Research in Mathematics (SPeCTRM) (2012 -14) argued that this could be because social pedagogical principles had not been implemented. In an ESRC-funded bilateral project, with Peter Kutnick and colleagues at the University of Hong Kong, 20 primary teachers in both HK and England were either trained in social pedagogy or formed a control group. Measures included: teachers’ mathematical subject knowledge (SMK), self efficacy for teaching mathematics (SETM), concerns about using groupwork, and ratings of social pedagogical implementation; pupils’ attainment and systematic observations of their talk in groupwork. There were clear differences between the two cultures in terms of social pedagogical contexts, while there were no differences in SMK. Critical to this symposium is that observations revealed clear improvements in the quality of children’s dialogue in both countries, and were associated with significant attainment gains in HK, but less clearly so in the UK. Teacher self-efficacy emerged as more salient than SMK with regard to achievement. Differences in educational culture and, in particular, teachers’ choices of which mathematical tasks were most appropriate for social pedagogical groupwork, and arguably more likely to stimulate dialogue, will be discussed to explain the findings.
Blatchford, P., Kutnick, P., Baines, E. and Galton, M., (2003) Toward a social pedagogy of groupwork. International Journal of Educational Research, 39, 153-172. Eurydice. (2012). Mathematics Education in Europe: Common Challenges and National Policies. Brussels: Eurydice.
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