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Title: Investigating the use of audio materials to support mathematical learning : from curriculum access to reflective reciprocal learning
Author: Simmons, Susan Florence.
Awarding Body: Open University
Current Institution: Open University
Date of Award: 2004
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I was motivated to undertake this research by concerns that arose from my professional and personal experiences in education. I was concerned that students with visual impairment were not being offered equality of access to the mathematics curriculum. Some schools cited high visual content as a reason for withdrawing students from mainstream classrooms. The study set out to pursue the thesis that students' experiences in mathematics education could be enhanced and extended through using audio recordings as complementary means of learning. It was carried out, in a variety of settings, with students of upper primary and secondary age. The value of applying a multi-method approach became evident over three years of fieldwork. I supplemented Soft Systems Methodology (Checkland and Scholes, 1990) with principles from other methodologies in response to feedback on use and production of audio materials. Students made invaluable, constructive contributions in their roles as co-researchers. An action-research approach evolved as most appropriate for the study. A complex interplay of factors was found to affect the extent to which audio recordings could be facilitative of inclusion. As well as analysing these factors and considering their wider implications, this account describes how my original formulation of the research in terms of issues of access became reconceived in terms of reflective, reciprocal learning. The study opened up sources of information that, seemingly, were being unexplored, under used, under valued and under researched, namely the resources that students themselves possessed. The study drew on case study material relating to the learning experienced by individual students to explore an emerging concept of reciprocal learning, both as a pedagogic relationship facilitative of inclusion and as a method for practitioner research. It is recommended that further exploration of the potential value of a reciprocal learning approach should form the basis of future research.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available