Framework for analysing continuity in students’ learning experiences during primary to secondary transition in mathematics

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Abstract

The transition from primary to secondary education tends to have deleterious effects on student achievement and motivation in mathematics, and these effects have been significantly linked to lack of curricular and pedagogical continuity at transition. Curricular and pedagogical practices in each phase of schooling are influenced by a number of factors including, for example, teachers’ mathematical knowledge for teaching, and a range of other school and societal level characteristics. We propose a novel theoretical framework for studying continuity of learning experiences during primary/secondary transition in mathematics which takes cognisance of these factors. The framework is based on aspects of the so-called anthropological theory of didactics, which acknowledge that mathematics learning and teaching are human activities that cannot be divorced from the broader organisational, societal and cultural contexts within which they occur; teacher attributes; and Dewey’s principle of continuity of experience. Potential applications of the framework to other forms of educational transition are also signposted.

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Cantley, I., O’Meara, N., Prendergast, M., Harbison, L., & O’Hara, C. (2021). Framework for analysing continuity in students’ learning experiences during primary to secondary transition in mathematics. Irish Educational Studies, 40(1), 37–49. https://doi.org/10.1080/03323315.2020.1779108

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