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Title: What is the secondary mathematics classroom like for pupils with Asperger syndrome?
Author: Clifford, Erica
ISNI:       0000 0004 6062 4528
Awarding Body: University of Warwick
Current Institution: University of Warwick
Date of Award: 2016
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This research enquiry was conducted to investigate contemporary teaching and learning methodologies in the mathematics classroom for pupils with Asperger Syndrome and to explore ways in which the pupils are supported in the mathematics learning environment. Asperger Syndrome is a pervasive developmental disorder that can affect the motor system, memory, organisation and intrinsic motivation. Accordingly, the condition has the potential to adversely affect the learning of mathematics both theoretical and practical. Therefore, in addition to an exploration of external factors which could influence the mathematics learning experience for pupils with Asperger Syndrome, also considered was the potential part played by intrinsic and self-regulated processes. The investigation was divided into distinct phases. The first of these was an examination of how compatible intrinsic characteristics are perceived to be with contemporary mathematics teaching and learning. The second was a review of mathematics teaching pedagogical frameworks and settings. A case study approach involving ten students with Asperger Syndrome between the ages of 11 and 19 in a variety of educational establishments and interviews with internal and external professionals provided the data for analysis. The pupils were observed working on various mathematics tasks delivered via differing teaching and learning methodologies using a range of resources. There were several outcomes of the study. It was ascertained that the greatest factor governing a pupil’s perseverance with a task is a mathematics specialist Teaching Assistant who utilises a ZPD (Zone of Proximal Development) scaffolding style of support as proposed by Vygotsky (1978). Secondly, activities presented via a genuine real-world cross-curricular perspective had the greatest influence on interest in mathematics learning irrespective of subject matter. Thirdly, it was found that there was no significant difference between one-size-fits-all computer-based tasks and traditional methodologies in the support of mathematics learning. Finally, despite ongoing debates about the importance of educational setting, it appeared that school type alone (specialist or mainstream) had no discernible effect on the mathematics classroom experience for pupils with Asperger Syndrome.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: LC Special aspects of education