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ERIC Number: EJ1068216
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011-Sep
Pages: 36
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: EISSN-1744-1803
Investigating Meaning in Learning: A Case Study of Adult Developmental Mathematics
Glasser, Tim
Adults Learning Mathematics, v6 n2 p42-77 Sep 2011
The objective of this article is to investigate meaning and relevance in the context of adult developmental math learning and instruction. In this case study, at the Art Institute of San Francisco, 12 vocational instructors and four math learners are interviewed on their early and current math experiences. During the semi-structured interviews, the adult math learners and vocational instructors reminisce on math in their learning and in their work. The interview transcripts are later analyzed for constructivist themes or codes. From instructor interviews, there appears to be a strong correlation between instructor views of meaning and learning and constructivist principles. There is a weaker correlation of these themes with the views of the adult learners, and there is evidence these developmental learners show signs of cognitive overload on certain constructivist tasks. These adult developmental learners appear to derive mathematical meaning from behaviorist learning and instruction involving step by step processes, the linking previous concepts, and the repetition of key ideas. It may be that this is the way these informants learned math in the pre-constructivist days of mathematics instruction.
Adults Learning Mathematics. 26 Tennyson Road, Kilburn, London NW6 7SA UK. e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Tests/Questionnaires; Reports - Research
Education Level: Adult Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: California
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A