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Mathematics Choices for the 6th Form

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Information about Mathematics Choices for the 6th Form
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Published on October 14, 2008

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Making Mathematics Choices for the 6th Form : Making Mathematics Choices for the 6th Form Jim Ridgway jim.ridgway@durham.ac.uk Structure : jim.ridgway@dur.ac.uk Structure Outline of PREMA – an EU project UK data on choice and performance Conclusions Actions Introduction to the interviews This school The interview protocol Web of influence PREMA - Promoting Equality in Maths Achievement : jim.ridgway@dur.ac.uk PREMA - Promoting Equality in Maths Achievement To Understand Women’s Under-representation In STEM Processes of student decision making Pedagogical factors Socio-cultural factors Impact of ICT http://prema.iacm.forth.gr/main.php Research Spine : jim.ridgway@dur.ac.uk Research Spine Interview policy makers Examine national data on performance Survey attitudes towards mathematics and subject choice in post-compulsory education At school At university Research Spine (Cont.) : jim.ridgway@dur.ac.uk Research Spine (Cont.) Interview high attaining students in post-compulsory education about their choices regarding mathematics At school At university Interview mathematics teachers Interview university mathematics lectures Interview women in the early stages of their careers, who either had or had not pursued careers in STEM Slide 6: jim.ridgway@dur.ac.uk UK Course Choices : jim.ridgway@dur.ac.uk UK Course Choices A level exam choices Slide 8: jim.ridgway@dur.ac.uk National Data 2004 : jim.ridgway@dur.ac.uk National Data 2004 National Data 2004 : jim.ridgway@dur.ac.uk National Data 2004 Survey of Attitudes and Influences : jim.ridgway@dur.ac.uk Survey of Attitudes and Influences 1128 students aged 17-18 years 8 schools Slide 12: jim.ridgway@dur.ac.uk Slide 13: jim.ridgway@dur.ac.uk Slide 14: jim.ridgway@dur.ac.uk Slide 15: jim.ridgway@dur.ac.uk Slide 16: jim.ridgway@dur.ac.uk Conclusions : jim.ridgway@dur.ac.uk Conclusions Important factors Enjoyment Interest Past success ‘pull factors’ – future career Subject combinations Students claim to be ‘empowered’ Girls have more choices AND… Conclusions (cont.) : jim.ridgway@dur.ac.uk Conclusions (cont.) Mathematics is not very interesting or enjoyable Some professional women were influenced by school ‘women into STEM’ programmes Implications For Action : jim.ridgway@dur.ac.uk Implications For Action Make mathematics interesting and enjoyable More creative; relate contexts to student interests Pedagogy Pay appropriate attention to girls and boys in class Increase the variety of teaching methods Reward effort, engagement and understanding Build student confidence Implications For Action (Cont.) : jim.ridgway@dur.ac.uk Implications For Action (Cont.) Communication Careers using mathematics On the implications of different subject choices Wider applications of mathematics Teacher Education Provide information on girls and STEM Provide tools for classroom observation Provoke reflection on practice Interviews : jim.ridgway@dur.ac.uk Interviews Slide 22: jim.ridgway@dur.ac.uk Xl The School : jim.ridgway@dur.ac.uk The School Mixed comprehensive school Popular village in SW England Mainly (not exclusively) middle class Mainly ethnically ‘white English’ Excellent OFSTED report Excellent GCSE results High ‘value added’ score Oxbridge entrants every year – high expectation of uni education for most students Broad curriculum - languages, art, sports, and drama, as well as mathematics and science The School - cont : jim.ridgway@dur.ac.uk The School - cont A dynamic (female) head – ‘outstanding’ says OFSTED E.g. knows most pupils by name Lots of promotions to head teacher from senior staff Lots of pupil work on display around the school Lots of newspaper cuttings showing school events and school successes Ethos - high attainment for all The Student sample : jim.ridgway@dur.ac.uk The Student sample School A or A* at GCSE mathematics Half doing maths, half not Girls and boys Gerry Becca A: Open-ended exploration of trajectory : jim.ridgway@dur.ac.uk A: Open-ended exploration of trajectory How old were you when you decided whether or not you were good at mathematics? contributing factors? Did you make active choices at AS/A2 or just go along with what was expected? Tell me something about why you chose the courses you are now taking. What were the most important factors in deciding to/deciding not to take an advanced course in mathematics? Was taking/not taking an advanced course in mathematics an easy choice, or did you have reservations? Do you think that these factors are different for boys and girls? Open Questions on Long term Goals : jim.ridgway@dur.ac.uk Open Questions on Long term Goals Do you have a career plan in mind? What is it? Why? What contributed to the decision? How would you feel about a career in a maths related area? Good things? Bad things? How do you see your life in 10 years time? School Experiences : jim.ridgway@dur.ac.uk School Experiences Classroom activities What were typical activities in maths classrooms? Classroom Roles If there were girls and boys in class, did they have different roles? [describe] Teacher Behaviour Get different treatment from teachers? [describe] What was YOUR role? Curriculum content The most interesting part of maths was…….. because? The most boring part of maths was…….. because? Women Mathematicians : jim.ridgway@dur.ac.uk Women Mathematicians Do you think there have been women mathematicians in history? [names?] Do you think there are famous women mathematicians today? [names?] Why/why not? Did you learn anything about them in your maths lessons? Teaching : jim.ridgway@dur.ac.uk Teaching Some – lets say 3 things that successful maths teachers do 3 things that unsuccessful maths teachers do Were there differences between male and female maths teachers? Give examples Successful Students : jim.ridgway@dur.ac.uk Successful Students 3 things that successful maths students do 3 things that unsuccessful maths students do Making Mathematics Choices for the 6th Form : Making Mathematics Choices for the 6th Form Jim Ridgway jim.ridgway@durham.ac.uk Survey Attitudes And Things That Influence Choices Of Study : jim.ridgway@dur.ac.uk Survey Attitudes And Things That Influence Choices Of Study Enjoyment Past performance Competence using computers ‘Mathematical identities’ Long term plans Personal influences – parents, teachers, friends ‘Resilience factors’ Interviews I – With High Performers Qualified To Take More Maths : jim.ridgway@dur.ac.uk Interviews I – With High Performers Qualified To Take More Maths Typical lessons, and uses of ICT Interest and enjoyment Girls’ and boys’ roles Socio-cultural questions Actions of successful and unsuccessful teachers Actions of successful and unsuccessful students Interviews II – With High Performers Qualified To Take More Maths : jim.ridgway@dur.ac.uk Interviews II – With High Performers Qualified To Take More Maths Development of mathematical identity Choices available; actually made; reasons Influences: parents, siblings, teachers, friends Long term plans What makes you good at maths and [X]? Why do you work hard at maths and [X]? Interviews III – With High Performers Qualified To Take More Maths : jim.ridgway@dur.ac.uk Interviews III – With High Performers Qualified To Take More Maths Analyses Socio-cultural factors Pedagogical factors Impact of the digital divide Understanding decision making Motivation theories Identity theories Ego-defence theories Gender theories Influencing Women’s Under-representation In STEM : jim.ridgway@dur.ac.uk Influencing Women’s Under-representation In STEM Strategies to influence Socio-cultural factors Pedagogical factors Impact of the digital divide Strategies to influence decision making Motivation theories Identity theories Ego-defence theories Gender theories Ambitions for PREMA: some sharing; maybe some strategic initiatives UK Policy IV : jim.ridgway@dur.ac.uk UK Policy IV Actions in the UK? More good teachers None traditional subject combinations – with music, art etc. A more exciting curriculum More choice within mathematics Perhaps reform university teaching EU initiatives should set out to share effective practices where relevant and applicable in local cultural contexts Slide 39: jim.ridgway@dur.ac.uk Interviews with 20 high attaining girls and boys about choices to take or not take a maths course Conclusions From Interviews I : jim.ridgway@dur.ac.uk Conclusions From Interviews I Socio-cultural factors Surprising absence of stereotypes Pedagogical factors Descriptions of weak gender effects Strong emphasis on the quality of teacher explanation Strong emphasis on student effort and understanding Impact of the digital divide ICT hardly used in mathematics; seen as irrelevant Implications For Action : jim.ridgway@dur.ac.uk Implications For Action Curriculum reform towards more enjoyable and creative mathematics Pedagogy reward effort, engagement and understanding Communication Wider applications of mathematics Careers using mathematics On the implications of different subject choices National Initiatives : jim.ridgway@dur.ac.uk National Initiatives Very big national differences England views this as a priority; In some other countries it was hard to get policy makers interested Pedagogical Factors : jim.ridgway@dur.ac.uk Pedagogical Factors Curriculum structures and materials Teacher perceptions of boys and girls Student perceptions of boys and girls Perceptions of good teaching Perceptions of a good student Socio-cultural factors Impact of ICT Curriculum Structures and Materials : jim.ridgway@dur.ac.uk Curriculum Structures and Materials Big National Differences e.g Poland Gendered courses (cookery vs woodwork) Portrayal of men and women in textbooks e.g. Austria Not so Teacher Perceptions of Boys and Girls I : jim.ridgway@dur.ac.uk Teacher Perceptions of Boys and Girls I Big national differences (Poland) belief in inherent differences Girls are worse at logical thinking Should girls really go into STEM? Austria and England - none Teacher Perceptions of Boys and Girls II : jim.ridgway@dur.ac.uk Consensus that Girls… are less confident ask fewer questions answer fewer questions are less disruptive work harder Are better at detail want to get good grades Big national differences in strength of beliefs Teacher Perceptions of Boys and Girls II Student Perceptions of Boys and Girls I : jim.ridgway@dur.ac.uk Girls Study more Try to be good in all subjects Are more systematic Are less disruptive Answer fewer questions Big national differences in strength of beliefs Student Perceptions of Boys and Girls I Perceptions of Good Teaching : jim.ridgway@dur.ac.uk Perceptions of Good Teaching Generic Good explanation Good subject knowledge Little agreement on good activities (group work, discussions etc.) Perceptions of a Good Student : jim.ridgway@dur.ac.uk Perceptions of a Good Student Generic Work hard Learn for understanding Socio-cultural Factors : jim.ridgway@dur.ac.uk Socio-cultural Factors Very big national differences Poland <> England Beliefs in essential differences Political campaigns Parent pressure or support for autonomy Supportive or unsupportive employment legislation Pedagogical Factors : jim.ridgway@dur.ac.uk Pedagogical Factors Portrayal in texts Gendered courses (cookery vs woodwork) School behaviour Work hard, persist, engage, are systematic and neat, help friends Classroom behaviour Disrupt, volunteer, ask questions, are diligent, competitive Teacher beliefs (Poland) in inherent differences Teacher questioning Understanding: Decision Making : jim.ridgway@dur.ac.uk Understanding: Decision Making ‘Pull’ and rational decision making are common claims Big national differences in the perceived influences of parents, other students, cultural influences such as the acceptability of a ‘career woman’ Impact Of ICT : jim.ridgway@dur.ac.uk Impact Of ICT Computer studies is ‘masculine’ ICT not much used in mathematics ICT not much expected in mathematics ICT has no effect on students’ relationship with mathematics Implications For Action : jim.ridgway@dur.ac.uk Implications For Action Monitoring educational changes STEM and the rest Engaging policy makers (e.g. Greece, France) Better employment legislation Revised curricula (school and university) the rest, as well as STEM content and pedagogy Implications For Action I : jim.ridgway@dur.ac.uk Implications For Action I Policy makers should address the flight from STEM Monitor educational changes STEM and the rest Sexist curriculum materials and practices should be changed Implications For Action IV : jim.ridgway@dur.ac.uk Implications For Action IV Influence Socio-cultural factors Political awareness of the differences in attainment and career choices by men and women – and the financial implications Publicise distinguished women mathematicians Look for and remove stereotyped images in text books Making Mathematics Choices in the 6th Form : Making Mathematics Choices in the 6th Form Jim Ridgway jim.ridgway@durham.ac.uk Slide 58: jim.ridgway@dur.ac.uk Slide 59: jim.ridgway@dur.ac.uk

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