An activity theory analysis of teaching goals versus student epistemological positions
journal contributionposted on 2013-03-20, 15:31 authored by Barbara Jaworski, Carol Robinson, Janette Matthews, Tony Croft
A teaching innovation for first year engineering students’ was designed to involve inquiry-based questions, an electronic graphical medium, small group activity and modifications to assessment. The use of an inquiry approach was intended to encourage students’ deeper engagement with mathematics and more conceptual understanding. Data were collected from observations of teaching, ongoing teacher reflections, student surveys, interviews and assessment outcomes. Despite evidence of success in assessments, analyses revealed fundamental differences between students’ perceptions of the teaching they experienced and the goals of the teaching team. Activity theory was used to juxtapose contradictory perceptions and highlight issues in the wider sociocultural and institutional settings of the research.
- Mathematics Education Centre