Students' Accounts of Their Experiences of Learning Mathematics

Bronwyn Frances Ewing, Sue Thomas, University, My
This research identifies important features of mathematics learning from the accounts of early school leavers. These students were enrolled in a Youth Reconnected Program at a Technical and Further Education [TAFE] college. Specifically, it examines the relationship between their experiences of mathematics learning in two different social contexts, the program and secondary school classrooms, the discourses and associated discursive practices of these two contexts, and the forms of identities
more » ... rms of identities of participation that are constructed in them. Drawing on a social theory of learning and critical discourse theory, the research identifies the processes by which membership in communities of learning is achieved and identities discursively constructed. It draws on the accounts of forty-three early school leavers and six staff members located in a Youth Reconnected Program, a program designed to re-engage early school leavers in education and or training, about their prior experiences of secondary school and their current experiences of TAFE. From these accounts, the thesis seeks to explicate their experiences of learning mathematics in both contexts and to consider the implications of different student experiences of learning for mathematics education. Critical discourse analysis provides the means for applying this framework to examine the discourses, discursive practices, identities, and forms of participation constructed in the accounts. It views the accounts as constituted by their social context. It shows how the language of the accounts works to construct particular versions of reality and how relations of power construct particular identities. It allows a richer qualitative exploration of the reported practices of mathematics classrooms with particular regard to linking the theoretical and practical concerns of this study. It makes transparent the relations between the social (including relations of power and domination), discourse, and discursive practice, thus enabling a more in-depth reading of the participants' [...]
doi:10.25904/1912/1819 fatcat:qkltkanfdzc3xd2bmoriy4xcra