ERIC Number: ED425058
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1998-Apr-17
Problem Solving as a Means toward Mathematics for All: A Look through a Class Lens.
Lubienski, Sarah Theule
In this study, a researcher-teacher examined seventh-graders' experiences with a problem-centered curriculum and pedagogy. Analyses of interviews, surveys, teaching journal entries, and audio recordings focused on differences between lower- and higher-socioeconomic status (SES) students' reactions to learning mathematics through problem solving. While higher-SES students displayed confidence and solved problems with an eye toward the intended mathematical ideas, the lower-SES students preferred more external direction and sometimes approached problems in a way that allowed them to miss their intended mathematical point. The lower-SES students more often became "stuck" in the open and contextualized nature of the problems. An examination of sociological literature revealed ways in which these patterns in the data could be related to more than individual differences in temperament or achievement between the children. This study suggests that class cultural differences could relate to students' approaches to learning mathematics through solving open, contextualized problems. This paper discusses equity-related challenges to be faced as well as interventions that could be helpful in our attempts to center mathematics instruction around problem solving. Contains 32 references. (Author)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association (San Diego, CA, April 17, 1998).