Issues in Mathematics Teaching

By Peter Gates | Go to book overview

15

The place of pupil writing in learning, teaching and assessing mathematics

Candia Morgan

Introducing the issue

Traditionally, school mathematics has been a subject in which pupils have done relatively little writing. Although they may have covered pages of their exercise books with calculations and manipulation of algebraic symbols, writing in ‘natural language’ has generally been very brief, often restricted to copying definitions or rules from a textbook or blackboard (Britton et al. 1975; Spencer et al. 1983). Indeed, this lack of writing is a reason some give for preferring mathematics to other subjects. However, recent reform movements in mathematics education, both in the United Kingdom and elsewhere, have begun to change the overwhelmingly symbolic nature of school mathematics, encouraging greater use of both oral and written language. These changes have been prompted by the belief that learning can benefit from talking and writing about mathematics. The introduction of more varied and ‘authentic’ mathematical activities into the classroom has also brought with it increased demand for writing, for example, reporting the results of problem-solving and investigative work.

Assessment in mathematics has always relied heavily on pupils’ written work. At a time when the consequences of assessment are ever greater for pupils and teachers, the complexity and difficulty of the writing demanded by new forms of assessment are also increasing. There are two major concerns about this development that I shall discuss in this chapter. First, there are questions that must be raised about the way pupils’ writing is interpreted by teachers and other assessors—can it be a transparent, valid representation of understanding? Second, it is widely acknowledged that many pupils find it difficult to write effectively—how can they learn to write in ways that will lead to them being assessed as highly as possible? I shall suggest that these concerns with increased use of pupil writing in assessment practices may particularly affect the chances of pupils from disadvantaged groups in society.


Key questions

This chapter is based on the following three key questions:

-232-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this book

This book has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this book

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
Issues in Mathematics Teaching
Table of contents

Table of contents

Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
/ 318

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Author Advanced search

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.