ERIC Number: ED478889
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2001
Reference Count: N/A
Transitions between School and Work: Some New Understandings and Questions about Adult Mathematics.
There is dissonance between the lives of adult students in rural Nepal in a subsistence-level agrarian community and their participation in school. The concept of "transfer" has several shortcomings from the standpoint of understanding relations between mathematical reasoning in the classroom and in the workplace. It is more helpful to use the concept of consequential transition when describing how learners apply classroom knowledge of mathematics to workplace situations. Consequential transition involves reconstruction rather than replication of knowledge and also entails a conscious change in identity and changes to the relationship between the individual and his or her social context. Attempts to get mathematical reasoning to generalize by making the learning of mathematics in classrooms more like math at work or by teaching core concepts "in the abstract" are misguided and not particularly effective. Thinking about differences between school and work as presenting opportunities for mathematical learning and development is more productive than is viewing them as boundaries to be overcome or transferred across. Learning mathematics in classrooms engages adult learner identities quite differently than it engages younger students' identities. (The author discusses the concept of consequential transition in the following scenarios: students and shopkeepers in rural Nepal; the computerization of traditional industrial machining; and high school students at work in the fast-food industry. The document contains 7 references.) (MN)
Descriptors: Adult Development, Adult Learning, Comparative Analysis, Constructivism (Learning), Education Work Relationship, Foreign Countries, High School Students, Learning Processes, Learning Theories, Mathematical Logic, Mathematics Instruction, Mathematics Skills, Postsecondary Education, Relevance (Education), Rural Areas, Secondary Education, Skill Development, Social Environment, Theory Practice Relationship, Transfer of Training
Peppercorn Press, P.O. Box 693, Snow Camp, NC 27349 (Papers not sold individually, for complete volume: ISBN 1-928836-10-0, $25). Tel: 877-574-1634 (Toll Free).
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Nepal; United States