Videregående skoleelevers utfordringer med tekstoppgaver : En studie av 1P elevers utfordringer med tekstoppgaver i matematikk som krever dybdeanalyse
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This Master thesis is entitled “Videregående skoleelevers utfordringer med tekstoppgaver: En studie av 1P elevers utfordringer med tekstoppgaver i matematikk som krever dybdeanalyse av teksten» («Challenges encountered by high-school students solving text-based exercises: A study of 1P (P stands for Practical mathematics) students’ challenges with text-based exercises in maths which require in-depth analysis of the text”). Text-based exercises are often used in maths. Pupils are expected to draw out meaning from a text already after year 4 in primary school. Text-based exercisesare often used to describe a practical situation. Quite often text-basedexercisesrequire higher cognitive competencies than if the exercisehad been an already set and prepared exercise.By studying students in 1P who work with text-based exercises demanding in-depth analysis of the text, the objective is to clarify how students manage to answer such exercises and whether they like them. Through observation and collection of the students’ work sheets, a short questionnaire and semi-structured interviews with six studentsI endeavour to answer the following research questions:-How do students in 1P manage to solve text-based exerciseswith require in-depth analysis of the text?-How do the students like these types of exercises?The qualitative data was gathered in two different 1P classes at two different high schools. The students received 6 text-based exerciseswhich they needed to work with. They were observed while working, and the work sheets were collected for analysis. Afterwards the students received a short questionnaire which they needed to fill in.This questionnaire contained questions about how the students experienced working with these text-based exercises. Finally,interviews were conducted with 6 students, 3 from each class. The data collected was thoroughly analysed and discussed.One important finding in this study is that students generally find text-based exercisesdifficult. The mathematical aspects of the exercise may be easy or manageable, but the presence of the text makes it difficult to solve the mathematical task. A list of suppositions which students tend to have in connection with text-based exercises are generally confirmed by the results of this study. A fair number of students thought that all exercises they were given by their teachers or which were taken from maths books or given by some authority would be meaningful. The exercises in themselves were expected to contain enough information for finding a correct mathematical answer. In several cases, the students did not link the exercise to their thoughts about reality or their experiences. They saw the maths exercises in a school context but did not think about the context around the exercise itself.Some of the students did think about what happens in reality in some of the given situations, but this was a minority of the students.When asked the question how the students experienced working with these exercises, several of the students answered that they experienced the text-based exercises as challenging because there were not so many numbers to base calculations on. Several students were in doubt about whether these exercises were trick-exercises or if there was some double meaning to them. For the majority of the students, these text-based exercises were difficult and challenging, but there were also a few students who felt the text-based exercises were challenging in a positive way. They had to think in a different way and that was fun.This study is limited to two classes with a total of28 students. The findings in this study are reinforced by the fact that they agree with findings in international studies. Text-based exercises are used in mathematics in many year groups, and in secondary school (“videregående”),all year groups will have some form of text-based exercises. A fair number of students will experience text-based exercises as challenging –and without value in real life.
Masteroppgave matematikkdidaktikk MA502 – Universitetet i Agder 2018