A case of learning mathematics the hard way as a teaching assistant

Drake, Pat (2005) A case of learning mathematics the hard way as a teaching assistant. Research in Mathematics Education, 7 (1). pp. 19-31. ISSN 1479-4802

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This paper develops early data from a qualitative longitudinal study of the first cohort of five students making the transition from teaching assistant in secondary school to specialist teacher of secondary mathematics. Data from a second cohort of four women and one man starting in 2003 is less complete, but used as appropriate. Bernstein's work on subject classification frames an argument that this student group navigates simultaneously two mathematics discourses: hard university mathematics, and everyday mathematics as experienced by the lower ability school pupils that the students support. This raises questions about the purpose and scope of the students work in school with respect to their mathematics learning, and vice versa. The study of conventional mathematics undergraduates for the ESRC (Macrae, Brown, and Rodd, 2003) provides a foil against which to compare approaches to learning mathematics, raising the possibility of a rethink of pre-requisite pre-qualification, and potential relations between university mathematics and work-place learning in secondary schools.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: This refereed article was one of the first to recognise that non-traditional learners can be successful in conventionally hard subjects such as mathematics, and is of significance because so far very few such instances exist. The work is of consequence in widening participation, and in relating academic to professional learning.
Schools and Departments: School of Education and Social Work > Education
Depositing User: Pat Drake
Date Deposited: 06 Feb 2012 20:49
Last Modified: 11 Jun 2012 14:18
URI: http://srodev.sussex.ac.uk/id/eprint/28336
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