Dismantling the
Birdcage
Relational Problem-Based Learning: Adolescent Girls’
Experiences with an Inclusive Pedagogy for M...
If you look very closely at just one wire in the
cage, you cannot see the other wires…You could
look one wire up and down ...


Call for change – movement in math education
(Boaler, 1994; Fennema, 1985; Freire, 1970).



New forms of instruction-...
An approach to curriculum and pedagogy
where student learning and content
material are (co)-constructed by students
and te...
What is the nature of the relationship between
girls’ attitudes towards mathematics and their
learning of mathematics duri...
A Pedagogy
of Feminist
Relation
Feminist
Mathematics
Pedagogy
Inclusion/No
Hierarchy

Active
Participation

Voice &
Agency...
Student
Interviews

•Approximately 5 participants, 2 interviews each
•Determine Students’ perceptions of their learning
ex...
Name

Leona

Isabelle

Kacey

Sarah

Alanna

Grade

10

9

10

9

9

Teacher

Schettino

Johnson

Schettino

Brown

Schett...


Comparison with Teacher Interview, Journal
and class observation Codes



The Listening Guide, VoiceCentered,Narrative...
Sample Overlap Diagram
Based on Brew (2001), Belenky (1986), Perry (1970), Baxter Magolda (1992)

Absolute Dualism

Transitional Multiplicity

•N...
The Listening Guide – narrative, voicecentered, relational approach
 “often coded, indirect language of girls
and women” ...
I

You

We
we’d fill in notes
we’d do homework
we still go over the homework

you can really
If you don’t understand
you c...
I

You
As you grow
When you turn 18
You have the power
You get to express yourself
No matter what side you’re on

We

I fe...
I

You
You’re more in control
You can
You have to participate
You don’t have to
You choose to participate
You want to help...
Self-Confidence
I can get it

Alanna
C
o
n
t
r
a
p
u
n
t
a
l

V
o
i
c
e
s

Self-Doubt
I wouldn’t comprehend it

I probably...
I

You

We

I feel like once
you understand the connection

you actually become smarter
you can make connections
I think t...
ABSOLUTE
DUALISM

TRANSITIONAL
MULTIPLICTY

Sarah

INDEPENDENT
RELATIVISM

CONTEXTUAL
COMMITMENT

Sarah

Leona

Leona

Isa...
Encouragement of individual and
group ownership
-journals
-student presentation,
-revoicing and other deliberate
discourse...


Mathematics education research - Looking “one wire up
and down”



Common wires - standardized testing bias, test anxi...
Adolescent Girls' Attitudes Towards Learning Mathematics with PBL
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Adolescent Girls' Attitudes Towards Learning Mathematics with PBL

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This powerpoint was used in my presentation during the PME-NA 2013 conference in Chicago in which I shared my dissertation research.

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Adolescent Girls' Attitudes Towards Learning Mathematics with PBL

  1. 1. Dismantling the Birdcage Relational Problem-Based Learning: Adolescent Girls’ Experiences with an Inclusive Pedagogy for Mathematics Carmel Schettino, Ph.D. - November 2013
  2. 2. If you look very closely at just one wire in the cage, you cannot see the other wires…You could look one wire up and down the length of it, and be unable to see why a bird would not just fly around the wire any time it wanted go somewhere…There is no physical property of any one wire…that will reveal how a bird could be inhibited or harmed by it except in the most accidental way. It is only when you step back, stop looking at the wires one by one and take a macroscopic view of the whole cage, that you can see why the bird does not go anywhere; and then you will see it in a moment. It is perfectly obvious that the bird is surrounded by a network of systematically related barriers, no one of which would be the least hindrance to its flight but which by their relations to each other, are as confining as the solid walls of a dungeon. (p.5) -Marilyn Frye, Oppression, in The Politics of Reality (1983)
  3. 3.  Call for change – movement in math education (Boaler, 1994; Fennema, 1985; Freire, 1970).  New forms of instruction- support equity and inclusiveness of underrepresented groups- including girls and women (Mau & Leitze, 2001; Meece & Jones, 1996; Solar, 1995).  discussion and more relationally-based teaching methods researched and recommended (Boaler, 2008; Lubienski, 2007)  Although achievement gap is closing, “interest gap” is not (higher grades, fewer majors) (Hill, Corbett, & St. Rose, 2010) and continuing dichotomous cultural view of mathematical identity (Mendick, 2008, RiegleCrumb et al, 2012) Education Research Statement
  4. 4. An approach to curriculum and pedagogy where student learning and content material are (co)-constructed by students and teachers through mostly contextuallybased problems in a discussion-based classroom where student voice, experience, and prior knowledge are valued in a non-hierarchical environment utilizing a relational pedagogy. Relational Problem-Based Learning
  5. 5. What is the nature of the relationship between girls’ attitudes towards mathematics and their learning of mathematics during and after experiencing it in an RPBL environment? How do they describe their experiences? Enjoyment Self-confidence Value Empowerment Agency Research Question
  6. 6. A Pedagogy of Feminist Relation Feminist Mathematics Pedagogy Inclusion/No Hierarchy Active Participation Voice & Agency Connection Relational Pedagogy Relational Equity & Authority Relational Trust Solar (1995), Anderson (2005), Boaler (2008), Rodgers & Raider-Roth (2006), Bingham (2004), Biesta (2004) Theoretical Framework
  7. 7. Student Interviews •Approximately 5 participants, 2 interviews each •Determine Students’ perceptions of their learning experience in RPBL Classroom Observations •2-3 Class Observations per Participant •Determine students' externally observed learning experience and extent to which RPBL is used by teachers Teacher Interviews Student Journals •2-3 Individual Teachers, 1 interview each •Determine teachers’ descriptions of students’ learning experiences •One Journal per Participant •Read for additional information about student’s description of their learning experience Research Design
  8. 8. Name Leona Isabelle Kacey Sarah Alanna Grade 10 9 10 9 9 Teacher Schettino Johnson Schettino Brown Schettino Race White Mixed White White AfricanAmerican SES Upper Middle Middle Upper Middle Lower Ability Low Middle Low Middle High Interest Low Medium High Low Low Boarder/Day Boarder Boarder Boarder Day Day Student Participants
  9. 9.  Comparison with Teacher Interview, Journal and class observation Codes  The Listening Guide, VoiceCentered,Narrative Analysis, Gilligan & Brown (1991)  Coding Maps creating and overlapping themes vetted (MaxQDA)  Analyzed each girl on Continuum of Girls’ Learning in RPBL based on Brew, et al (2001) Data Analysis
  10. 10. Sample Overlap Diagram
  11. 11. Based on Brew (2001), Belenky (1986), Perry (1970), Baxter Magolda (1992) Absolute Dualism Transitional Multiplicity •No voice •Absolute orientation towards knowledge and truth •Each piece of knowledge is discrete •Listening to others’ voices/Receptive •Emerging acceptance of multiple perspectives in areas where knowledge is considered uncertain •directed awaresness of connected knowledge Independent Relativism •Listening to the voice of reason •Rejection of absolute truth where context plays an important part is assessing knowledge •independent awaresness of Connected vs. Separate knowledge Contextual Commitment •Integration of the two procedural voices •Perception that meaning-making once expected to come from outside themselves, from authority, emanates from within •ability to perceive the complexities of interconnectedness of knolwedge Voice Awareness in Learning Dichotomous Truth in Learning Connected vs. Separate Knowledge Continuum of Girls’ Learning
  12. 12. The Listening Guide – narrative, voicecentered, relational approach  “often coded, indirect language of girls and women” (Beauboef, 2007).  Listening Purpose First Plot, Story, What is being told, Reader Response Second I statements coded, I-Poems formed, stories told by them Third/Fourth Contrapuntal Voices listened for, stories/voices in opposition to other voices heard? Narrative Analysis
  13. 13. I You We we’d fill in notes we’d do homework we still go over the homework you can really If you don’t understand you can definitely ask I think in my old class I was so afraid to ask all be judging you Sarah – Passivity to Agency
  14. 14. I You As you grow When you turn 18 You have the power You get to express yourself No matter what side you’re on We I feel like I could be on I like to solve it this way We both get to express One of us is wrong If one of us is right Or even if both of us is right Changed my identity Given me a voice I didn’t really have one before Leona – Finding Your Voice
  15. 15. I You You’re more in control You can You have to participate You don’t have to You choose to participate You want to help You want to understand I didn’t understand I would go up I could understand I expected everybody I have a question I ask it I know You should not do it You find out the reason why Then you’re like “OK” Isabelle – Transparency
  16. 16. Self-Confidence I can get it Alanna C o n t r a p u n t a l V o i c e s Self-Doubt I wouldn’t comprehend it I probably would I want algebra to die I don’t… I don’t know I don’t remember I would have to do I could really do I can’t do those I can draw I wouldn’t know I have those I wouldn’t know I just combine I think I know the way I just had to plug I’ve had practice I was taught that I got it I know the formula I just put it together I try not to get confused I wouldn’t really know
  17. 17. I You We I feel like once you understand the connection you actually become smarter you can make connections I think that’s the beauty we learned I love the problems we do you can have one problem we learned Kacey - Empowerment
  18. 18. ABSOLUTE DUALISM TRANSITIONAL MULTIPLICTY Sarah INDEPENDENT RELATIVISM CONTEXTUAL COMMITMENT Sarah Leona Leona Isabelle Isabelle Alanna Alanna Kacey Relative Growth on Learning Continuum Kacey
  19. 19. Encouragement of individual and group ownership -journals -student presentation, -revoicing and other deliberate discourse moves Ownership of Knowledge Dissolution of authoritarian hierarchy -discourse moves to improve equity -send message of valuing risk-taking and all ideas Connected Curriculum RPBL Framework Shared Authority RPBL Framework -scaffolded problems -decompartmentalized topics -the connected nature of mathematics Justification not prescription -Focus on the “why” in solutions - foster inquiry with multiple perspectives -value curiosity & assess creativity
  20. 20.  Mathematics education research - Looking “one wire up and down”  Common wires - standardized testing bias, test anxiety, self-efficacy issues  no “physical property” cultural, implicit, relational - girls and women, people of color or students with learning differences  “network of systematic barriers” - the traditional, dichotomous, gendered and authoritarian mathematics pedagogy  RPBL gave a different experience Conclusions –Dismantle the Birdcage

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