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Title: A complexity theory approach to understanding teacher learning in the context of a primary mathematics intervention : a case study of a disadvantaged Irish school
Author: O'Loughlin, Noreen G.
Awarding Body: University of Bristol
Current Institution: University of Bristol
Date of Award: 2013
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This dissertation focuses on the teaching of primary school mathematics in an Irish context through a case study analysis of a national mathematics intervention programme which the author led across the disadvantaged school sector. It deals with the complex reality of delivering a national intervention programme across a heterogeneous, widely dispersed, and multi-layered schools environment, dealing with intervention delivery in 320 disadvantaged primary schools, training 700 intervention specialists, 1300 primary teachers, and responding to thousands of children from disadvantaged backgrounds that had been identified as falling behind in terms ofthe mathematics curriculum. Drawing on the complexity theory literature, this dissertation provides a robust theoretical underpinning to the application of the Mathematics Recovery Programme (MRP). The thesis weaves together as a seamless garment the intervention programme, the school, the teachers and the pupils, as four segments of an indivisible whole. It utilises a heightened understanding of the concept of teacher professional learning as a driving force in the delivery of a high quality programme through teachers' professional engagement leading to a change in teachers' attitudes and practices, and improvement in pupils' mathematics learning. Through the use of a case study method, it presents a rigorous enquiry of the implementation ofthe intervention programme, highlighting its multifaceted nature while simultaneously making pertinent enquiries, and interrogating the practice on the ground against the academic literature at the micro, meso and, where appropriate, the macro levels. Finally, as a professional doctoral thesis, it reaches strong conclusions based on the evidence of the research which have ramifications for both on-going research in this area as well as for the development and implementation of successful intervention programmes across the primary curriculum.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available