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An exploration into how year six children engage with mathematical problem solving

This thesis provides some new insight into children’s strategies and behaviours relating to problem solving. Problem solving is one of the main aims in the renewed mathematics National Curriculum 2014 and has appeared in the Using and Applying strands of previous National Curriculums. A review of the literature provided some analysis of the types of published problem solving activities and attempted to construct a definition of problem solving activities. The literature review also demonstrated this study’s relevance. It is embedded in the fact that at the time of this study there was very little current research on problem solving and in particular practitioner research. This research was conducted through practitioner research in a focus institution. The motivation for this research was, centred round the curiosity as to whether the children (Year Six, aged 10 -11 years old) in the focus institution could apply their mathematics to problem solving activities. There was some concern that these children were learning mathematics in such a way as to pass examinations and were not appreciating the subject. A case study approach was adopted using in-depth observations in one focus institution. The observations of a sample of Year Six children engaged in mathematical problem solving activities generated rich data in the form of audio, video recordings, field notes and work samples. The data was analysed using the method of thematic analysis utilising Nvivo 10 to code the data. These codes were further condensed to final overarching themes. Further discussion of the data shows both mathematical and non-mathematical overarching themes. These themes are discussed in more depth within this study. It is hoped that this study provides some new insights into children’s strategies and behaviours relating to problem solving in mathematics.
Date January 2015
CreatorsWalden, Rachel Louise
ContributorsKoshy, V. ; Ineson, G.
PublisherBrunel University
Source SetsEthos UK
Detected LanguageEnglish
TypeElectronic Thesis or Dissertation

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