All-Attainment Secondary Mathematics Teaching in England: How Some Teachers Make it Work

JACKSON, Colin (2020). All-Attainment Secondary Mathematics Teaching in England: How Some Teachers Make it Work. Doctoral, Sheffield Hallam University.

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The research on which this thesis is based is focussed on the grouping of students in secondary school mathematics by a conception of their “ability”. Focussing particularly on mathematics education I argue that this practice is unjust, as previous research shows, and that a socially just education system should treat all of its students, including working-class students, equitably. This research focusses on a small group of teachers who do not accept this “common-sense” “ability” thinking but who instead believe that all students should have access to all of the curriculum and that all are capable of learning without limits. During 2016 I carried out in-depth interviews with these teachers in Brierley Grove, an inner London comprehensive with a largely working class intake, Shortvalley, a comprehensive on the south coast and a rural comprehensive in Cambridgeshire. This research is the only current in-depth study of mathematics teachers who are committed to all-attainment teaching and, as such, the findings of this research represent an original contribution to knowledge. My research identified three major themes:  what sustains the teachers;  how they introduce, develop and maintain all-attainment; and  how they make all-attainment work in the classroom. Drawing together the findings I present two interrelated models of the knowledge and understandings the research has generated. The first attempts to explain how the teachers are situated with regards to their teaching. The second, encompassed within the first, illustrates how the teachers through all-attainment mathematics are attempting to enable the students not only to develop and succeed mathematically but to become agentic so that they are not restricted in the life choices they have. I discuss the implications of the study for those connected in a variety of ways to the teaching and learning of secondary school mathematics in all-attainment groups and make recommendations for further research.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Thesis advisor - Bevins, Stuart [0000-0001-7139-1529]
Additional Information: Director of studies: Stuart Bevins
Identification Number:
Depositing User: Colin Knott
Date Deposited: 10 Jun 2020 14:34
Last Modified: 11 Aug 2023 14:57

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