Breaking the failure cycle: The opportunities and challenges of adopting mastery pedagogy to develop maths competency in further education.

Cooper, John B. (2021) Breaking the failure cycle: The opportunities and challenges of adopting mastery pedagogy to develop maths competency in further education. Doctoral thesis, University of Sunderland.

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Abstract

This research aims to critically evaluate the impact of deploying mastery pedagogy to the teaching of maths on learners, teachers and organisations, specifically in Further Education (FE) settings in England. Ideas from the pragmatism school of thought, particularly those of the American philosopher, John Dewey, as well as the ‘second wave’ pragmatist Richard Sennett, are explored alongside concepts proposed by Csíkszentmihályi, Boaler, Usher, Nuthall and Hildebrand among others.
The ‘Essential 8’ maths mastery programme is examined with regard to eliciting positive effects in learner experience and results. Quantitative details regarding assessment data from around 2000 students are supplemented with extensive qualitative accounts from learners. Plowright’s structured mixed methods approach is adopted.
Three main themes for further debate emerge: ‘Managing cognitive load’, a ‘teach less to learn better’ concept and a proposed theory of ‘collateral growth’.
This study proposes that the experience of the learner as a result of the situation enabled by the teacher, acts to improve learner perception of success. The evident continuing increase in exam grades of those studying with the programme is interpreted as a by-product of meaningful learner experience. Evidence from learners, educators, exam grades and the relationships between these data are presented in support of this theory.
A ‘teach less to learn better’ concept is offered to act as a catalyst for further debate between stakeholders in teaching maths with a mastery approach.
Key terms: Further Education. Maths. Pragmatism. Situation. Tacit learning. Learner voice. Cognitive load. Less but better. Collateral growth.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Divisions: Collections > Theses
Depositing User: Leah Maughan
Date Deposited: 06 May 2021 11:03
Last Modified: 06 May 2021 11:15
URI: http://sure.sunderland.ac.uk/id/eprint/13461

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