Mathematics Education: Exploring the Culture of Learning

By Barbara Allen; Sue Johnston-Wilder | Go to book overview

5

Constructing the 'legitimate' goal of a 'realistic' maths item

A comparison of 10-11- and 13-14-year-olds

Barry Cooper and Máiréad Dunne


Introduction

Sociological approaches to assessment have taken a variety of forms. Broadly macro-structural perspectives have focused on the relations between the criteria for assessment, social selection and the wider, socio-economic context (for example, Bowles and Gintis, 1976). Broadly micro-structural perspectives have focused instead on the ways in which assessment outcomes are constructed within classrooms or testing contexts (for example, Mehan, 1973; Newman et al., 1989). Both of these approaches have produced important contributions to our understanding of the origins, the practice and the consequences of assessment. Notwithstanding their different emphases these authors have had many useful things to say about the relations between social structure, culture and the processes of meaning construction in the contexts in which assessment actually occurs. Bourdieu's work (for example, Bourdieu, 1974) on the nature of assessment practices in French higher education serves as an early example of work of this type. Turning to maths education, there has been a considerable body of research in recent years focusing on the ways in which the contexts within which mathematical problem-solving occurs can affect radically both the processes and the products of such cognitive activity (Nunes et al., 1993; Lave, 1988). In parallel, there has also been much research on children's 'failure' to take a 'realistic' perspective during mathematical problem-solving when it would seem appropriate to do so (for example, Säljö, 1991). Our recent research on maths assessment, on which we will draw here, is intended as a contribution to these relational and contextual approaches to the study of assessment in maths (for example, Cooper, 1998b; Cooper and Dunne, 2000; Dunne, 1994).

We will draw on our research programme on the assessment of the mathematical knowledge and understanding of 10-11- and 13-14-year-old children in England. This research was partly motivated by a concern that the national testing of children's mathematics mainly via 'realistically' contextualised items might have a variety of unintended consequences, especially for the validity of the assessment of working-class children's knowledge and understanding. Children are often required by 'realistic' test items to make quite subtle judgements about the relevance to the process of solution of their everyday knowledge and experience (Cooper, 1992, 1994). There are sociological grounds for expecting working-class children to find it more difficult to

-69-

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
Mathematics Education: Exploring the Culture of Learning
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
/ 246

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.

    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.