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Title: Practical activities in mathematics learning
Author: Triadafillidis, Triadafillos A.
Awarding Body: University of Edinburgh
Current Institution: University of Edinburgh
Date of Award: 1993
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The effectiveness of activity-based learning has been discussed by many authors over the past 4,000 years. Despite the suggested strength of a 'hands-on' approach, learning in secondary school mathematics classes has become abstract and analytic. Students are taught out-of-context and seldom are given the opportunity to act upon their educational experiences. To evaluate the effectiveness of practical activities in classroom situations, materials were developed by the author. These concerned areas from the mathematics syllabus of the first and second years of secondary school. Data were collected from urban and rural schools in both Greece and Scotland. The students' performance on the practical activities was investigated in terms of the cognitive difficulty of the introduced mathematical concepts. Culture was also investigated as a differentiating factor in the performance and attitudes of the students. The results of the study indicated a differentiation in performance and attitudes between students of the two countries, in favour of the Greek students. In some tasks first grade students performed better than the second grade ones, in both countries. Cultural differences, as these are reflected in the educational systems, indicated the existence of a 'classroom culture'. This 'classroom culture' appears as the ethos of a school class, created and sustained by the teacher and the students. To that extent more similarities were found between Greece and Scotland rather than differences. These similarities address the formation of values in the mathematics classroom about the nature of mathematics, about understanding mathematics, about the role of the teacher and about education in general.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available