The relevance of role play to the learning of mathematics in the primary classroom

Hdl Handle:
http://hdl.handle.net/10142/324376
Title:
The relevance of role play to the learning of mathematics in the primary classroom
Authors:
Williams, Helen J.
Abstract:
This thesis reports on an investigation into the relevance of role play to the learning of mathematics. It is a case study of one Reception and one Year Four class during the academic year 2011-2012, where role play was used for children to explore mathematics that ‘made human sense’ (Donaldson 1978). This study is grounded in social constructivist theories of learning, seen as the product of interaction amongst members of communities. It starts from the theoretical perspective of play being a key medium for children’s learning, drawing on a body of literature positively linking play to young children’s development. It takes the view from accumulating educational research, that discussion and social interaction are significant in learning mathematics and that learners’ mathematical identities affect their engagement. The following questions were posed in this study: • What mathematics can be learned through role play? • What does mathematics learning look like in different role play contexts? • To what extent might role play affect the development of mathematical resilience, involvement and a positive attitude to the subject? • What particular classroom conditions positively affect mathematics learning through role play? • What adult intervention helps or hinders? Ontologically, this study considers participants’ interactions and behaviours and their interpretations of these, as central to a situation. In order to address these questions and reflect my views on knowledge, a qualitative, interpretative methodology was adopted for this study. The findings suggest that role play is useful for mathematical learning and that it is possible to engage in complex mathematics through role play. I argue that the potency of role play is its ability to suspend disbelief and engage children as participants in a community of learners. This study also concludes there is potential for developing children’s mathematical awareness and metacognition through reflecting on role play. Whilst the importance of reflection on learning is well established, how a child learns about themselves as a mathematician is under-researched. This study begins to consider this issue. There are two films to accompany this thesis that are not included here, if you'd like to view them, please contact Helen Williams: info@helenjw.co.uk
Issue Date:
2014
URI:
http://hdl.handle.net/10142/324376
Type:
Thesis
Language:
en
Appears in Collections:
PhD Theses

Full metadata record

DC FieldValue Language
dc.contributor.authorWilliams, Helen J.en
dc.date.accessioned2014-08-07T15:26:31Z-
dc.date.available2014-08-07T15:26:31Z-
dc.date.issued2014-
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/10142/324376-
dc.description.abstractThis thesis reports on an investigation into the relevance of role play to the learning of mathematics. It is a case study of one Reception and one Year Four class during the academic year 2011-2012, where role play was used for children to explore mathematics that ‘made human sense’ (Donaldson 1978). This study is grounded in social constructivist theories of learning, seen as the product of interaction amongst members of communities. It starts from the theoretical perspective of play being a key medium for children’s learning, drawing on a body of literature positively linking play to young children’s development. It takes the view from accumulating educational research, that discussion and social interaction are significant in learning mathematics and that learners’ mathematical identities affect their engagement. The following questions were posed in this study: • What mathematics can be learned through role play? • What does mathematics learning look like in different role play contexts? • To what extent might role play affect the development of mathematical resilience, involvement and a positive attitude to the subject? • What particular classroom conditions positively affect mathematics learning through role play? • What adult intervention helps or hinders? Ontologically, this study considers participants’ interactions and behaviours and their interpretations of these, as central to a situation. In order to address these questions and reflect my views on knowledge, a qualitative, interpretative methodology was adopted for this study. The findings suggest that role play is useful for mathematical learning and that it is possible to engage in complex mathematics through role play. I argue that the potency of role play is its ability to suspend disbelief and engage children as participants in a community of learners. This study also concludes there is potential for developing children’s mathematical awareness and metacognition through reflecting on role play. Whilst the importance of reflection on learning is well established, how a child learns about themselves as a mathematician is under-researched. This study begins to consider this issue. There are two films to accompany this thesis that are not included here, if you'd like to view them, please contact Helen Williams: info@helenjw.co.uken
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dc.description.provenanceApproved for entry into archive by Sarah-Louise Hall (sarah-louise.hall@roehampton.ac.uk) on 2014-08-07T15:26:31Z (GMT) No. of bitstreams: 4 WilliamsTHESIS.pdf: 4461119 bytes, checksum: ac3052f9c9a168cb9130e0647ed594ed (MD5) WilliamsTHESIS.pdf: 4461119 bytes, checksum: ac3052f9c9a168cb9130e0647ed594ed (MD5) license_text: 21936 bytes, checksum: 9833653f73f7853880c94a6fead477b1 (MD5) license_rdf: 23148 bytes, checksum: 9da0b6dfac957114c6a7714714b86306 (MD5)en
dc.description.provenanceMade available in DSpace on 2014-08-07T15:26:31Z (GMT). No. of bitstreams: 4 WilliamsTHESIS.pdf: 4461119 bytes, checksum: ac3052f9c9a168cb9130e0647ed594ed (MD5) WilliamsTHESIS.pdf: 4461119 bytes, checksum: ac3052f9c9a168cb9130e0647ed594ed (MD5) license_text: 21936 bytes, checksum: 9833653f73f7853880c94a6fead477b1 (MD5) license_rdf: 23148 bytes, checksum: 9da0b6dfac957114c6a7714714b86306 (MD5) Previous issue date: 2014en
dc.language.isoenen
dc.titleThe relevance of role play to the learning of mathematics in the primary classroomen
dc.typeThesisen
dc.type.qualificationnamePhD-
dc.description.noteThere are two films to accompany this thesis that are not included here, if you'd like to view them, please contact Helen Williams: info@helenjw.co.uk-
dc.subject.departmentDepartment of Education-
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