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Assignment practical-kokkaliari magdalini-pdf

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Assignment practical-kokkaliari magdalini-pdf

  1. 1. Magdalini Kokkaliari 11094464 Practical Research of Education 1In which ways do mathematics teachers expect homework to contribute to theirstudents’ achievement and what is their parents’/carers’ role? A comparison study ofEnglish and Greek post compulsory mathematics teachersFinding an initial area of interest and beginning to explore possibilities I have spent half of my life in schools: initially as a student, later as mathematicstutor, then as a secondary teacher and as a mother too. Especially the last twenty years in thistriple role mostly focused on my favourite subject, Mathematics. Since my childhood years, Ihave been spending hours and hours on learning, teaching, talking about, but mainly doingmathematics alone or with my peers, teachers, friends, colleagues, students, family. In allthese phases two where mainly the points which were dominant: first that mathematics was inone way or another present in everybody’s life and second that there should be foundeffective ways of teaching Mathematics to provide all students opportunities to maximisetheir potential. My assignment for Issues was an attempt to find out under which conditions is anuninterested in mathematics student’s identity formed. I came to the conclusion that there isnot such a consistent identity, but it is just a behavioural reaction, a human being’s defence todifficulties, which can be overcome possibly with the cooperation of all those involved. Ihad a chance to gain further insight on this interest of mine with online qualitative dataassignment for Practical Research Module. I decided to interview (appendix 1) an 18-year-old student, who has finished recently his secondary education and could be characterised asuninterested in mathematics. What I found extremely interesting was his reference to his first
  2. 2. Magdalini Kokkaliari 11094464 Practical Research of Education 2negative emotion and change of attitude towards mathematics at the age of 12, when he facedthe transition from arithmetic to algebra, while he moved from primary to secondaryeducation. ‘I could not do my homework, which was very frustrating and day after day I wasgiving up the efforts’ which resulted mathematics, which was his favourite subject duringprimary education to be proved uninteresting, hard and, finally, useless. He put the blame onhimself, ‘I had not tried enough, like some peers of mine, who were more persistent in trying,asking the teacher, or others, whose parents used to help them or find a tutor for them’. In this case study there were some findings, worth-researching. Homework revealedto be discouraging in the sense of ‘The emotions expressed during mathematics work may belinked to mathematics achievement’ (Nicole M. Else-Quest, Janet S. Hyde, and AhalyaHejmadi, 2008). Secondly it was mentioned that ‘parental involvement in learning andchildren’s homework practices, the social aspects of education’ (Hyde et al., 2006) may resultto student’s better results. The parents can have a central role and ‘a warm and positivehomework interaction might cultivate a struggling student’s interest and perseverance withmathematics’ (Nicole M. Else-Quest, Janet S. Hyde, and Ahalya Hejmadi, 2008). Thirdly theteachers’ role seemed to be determining for those who are tenacious, excluding the rest. The last clue led me to take a second chance with the quantitative data onlineassignment for practical research (appendix 2). To gain further insight this time on teachers’attitudes towards homework, I implemented a ‘mathematics teachers’ beliefs for students’homework’ survey. The 17 teachers, who respond, some of them teaching in English schoolsand other in Greek, stated that they believe that homework has a large contribution onstudents’ mathematics learning, although there was a dichotomy between them related toparents’ role. Some of them would accept a desirable parents’ help in case their children arenot able to do part or the whole of their homework, and others’ view was that students should
  3. 3. Magdalini Kokkaliari 11094464 Practical Research of Education 3ask only their teachers for help in this case. Surprisingly Jenny Houssart’s, our tutor’s,comment: ‘Given more time, I think there would be potential to explore this data further and Iwas particularly interested in whether there was any difference in the responses from teachersin Athens and those in London coincided with my own thoughts while I was collecting thedata. I moved to London four years ago to teach mathematics in secondary education and Iwas surprised a lot of times of unexpected similarities and differences in every aspect ofteaching mathematics processes. I have the chance to share experiences with Greek andEnglish teachers, to teach or meet students from both mathematics curricula and those whotransfer from one curriculum to the other, to speak with their parents and compare their skills,their thoughts, their difficulties. When you live within a bicultural environment comparisonsare unavoidable and not necessarily harmful, hence many times you can draw falseconclusions. We, mathematics teachers, usually think, even with smugness and sometimes witharrogance, that we teach a universal subject, we speak an international language and we sharecommon ideas and practices of teaching and learning. We forget to take into account thatteachers’ didactic practices are culturally determined (Lerman 1998) and teachers operatingin an educational system behave within well-defined norms that differ from those of another(Stigler, J. W., Gallimore, R. and Hiebert, J. 2000) even if it seems to teach the same thingsusing the same practices. As a mathematics teacher for many years in Greek secondaryschools I had experience of how ‘Lessons are the daily routine of teaching and learning andare often organized in a certain way that is commonly accepted in each culture’ (Kawanaka1999, 91) and now I am surprised to find out differences between aspects of the teaching andlearning processes that look the same and similarities between those that seem to be quitedifferent. But what is more important is that looking at other cultures helps you understandyour own practices more clearly and to wonder whether you could use alternative ones,
  4. 4. Magdalini Kokkaliari 11094464 Practical Research of Education 4since, based on different beliefs and different expectations, teachers in other cultures mighthave developed entirely different teaching practices. (Hiebert, Gallimore et al 1999) After all these my research question has emerged: a comparative analysis on Greekand English secondary education mathematics teachers’ beliefs for students’ homeworkand their parents’ role. Refining the research question From my previous experiences I am aware that undertaking a research study to findvalid and reliable answers to a question is not an easy thing to do; especially to conduct acomparative analysis on beliefs/attitudes for homework. To gain insight I tried to findrelative literature: i. HOMEWORK Homework is a ‘multifaceted process that involves a complex interplay of factors intwo contexts —home and school—and a range of participants from school-system-levelemployees to individual students’ (Pamela M. Warton, 2001). While there is an extensiveresearch literature on mathematics homework and how ‘well-chosen homework assignmentscan reinforce classroom learning, by providing a challenge can encourage students to extendtheir understanding of mathematics, allowing students who are having trouble keeping upwith their classmates to review material taught in class’ (Mathematics Benchmarking Report:TIMSS 1999), the study of mathematics teachers’ attitudes towards homework, iscomparatively limited, especially the one focused on their expectations and parents’ role. It isobvious that this aspect of pedagogy can have successful results, only if there is consensus,or, at least, collaboration between the three partners: teacher, student and parents/carers.
  5. 5. Magdalini Kokkaliari 11094464 Practical Research of Education 5 In most countries mathematics homework is an obligatory students’ task, for studentsof all ‘abilities’ and the time they spend do not always result to high achievement. ‘Comparedwith their higher-achieving counterparts, the lower-performing students may do lesshomework, either because they simply do not do it or because their teachers do not assign it,or more homework, perhaps in an effort to keep up academically’ (MathematicsBenchmarking Report: TIMSS 1999). In research literacy every aspect of homework is multi-faceted. Taking as a startingpoint the definition of homework, Cooper (1989, quoted in Harris Cooper et al Patall 2006)defines homework as ‘any task assigned by schoolteachers intended for students to carry outduring non-school hours (study hall, library time, or even during subsequent classes)’, whileHarris Cooper et al (2006) adds (a) in-school guided study (b) home study courses deliveredthrough the mail, television, audio or videocassette, or the Internet; and (c) extracurricularactivities. Variations in homework can be classified according to its (a) amount, (b) skill area,(c) purpose, (d) degree of choice for the student, (e) completion deadline, (f) degree ofindividualization, and (g) social context. (Harris Cooper et al 2006). It is essential and crucial for the research question to identify the teachers’ statedpurposes on designing homework assignments for their students and a long reference is goingto be helpful. Although the different purposes of homework are not mutually exclusive, wecan categorise them as (a) instructional and (b) non instructional objectives, with a lot ofsubcategories:  Practical skills: to give students opportunities to practice skills taught in class, increase speed, demonstrate mastery, retain skills, review work, and study for tests.
  6. 6. Magdalini Kokkaliari 11094464 Practical Research of Education 6  preparation, to ensure that each student is ready for the next lesson, like completing unfinished classroom activities, studying and internalising what was learned in school or stimulating the student for a topic to be taught, or an exam  participation, increase student’s involvement in active learning, in applying specific skills and knowledge, and in conducting projects  to foster student personal development such as responsibility, self-confidence, feelings of accomplishment, to learn to manage their time, to establish work schedules, to build study skills, and develop research skills. At home, students may control the amount of time they spend on different skills, the books or resources they use, and the number of consultations with parents, siblings, and friends to complete their work, to learn to deal with distractions at home  parent–child relations: to establish communication between parents and children about schoolwork and how it is used in real-life situations  Parent– teacher communications: to involve parents in students’ curricular activities, to keep them aware of topics taught in class, of their children’s progress, of the ways of supporting their children’s work and progress. In special cases parents can act as tutors under teachers’ precise guidelines or training.  peer interactions (formal or informal): to encourage students to work together, motivate, help and learn from each other  policy: to fulfil school or district policies for a prescribed amount of homework per day or per week
  7. 7. Magdalini Kokkaliari 11094464 Practical Research of Education 7  Public relations: for the school to show that it has a rigorous academic program and high standards of student work, as the research suggests homework is essential for schools, teachers and students.  punishment: to try to correct problems with student conduct or productivity(Epstein, J. L., & Van Voorhis, F. L. 2001, Muhlenbruck et al. 2000, Warton 2001, Como2000 ). To have further insight we can go on with the amount of homework, the degree ofchoice and individualisation, the social context, the importance, the interaction betweenteachers, parents, educators, policy makers and a long list. ii. Comparative analysis From my reading (Alan Bryman 2008) I was aware of the form of comparativeresearch as a kind of cross-cultural or cross-national research. Drawing information fromrelevant literature ‘strictly speaking, to compare means to examine two or more entities byputting them side by side and looking for similarities or differences between or among them.In the field of education, this can apply both to comparisons between and comparisons withinsystems of education’ (Postlethwaite Encyclopaedia of Comparative Education and Nationalsystems of Education 1988: xvii). Although comparative education has a long story, manyfaces and goals, (International Comparisons in Mathematics Education by Kaiser, Luna andHuntley 1999), the last few years it has a tremendous increase. Looking at other culturesalternative practices discovered in other countries might not transpose readily across cultures,but they can help to see oneself more clearly, they might also suggest alternative practicesand underscore the idea that classroom practices are the result of choices can be re-examinedin a new light (Hiebert, Gallimore et al 1999).
  8. 8. Magdalini Kokkaliari 11094464 Practical Research of Education 8 Mainly these studies are of two kinds: Large-scale quantitative studies compare the achievement of learners in one countrywith those in others. Such studies are helpful in alerting a system’s participants not only to itsmathematical attainment relative to other systems, but also, by means of test repeats, toprevious performance. For my question research it could not be an advantageous method.First of all it would be cumbersome and not affordable. Secondly quantitative data areposivistic, not helpful for analysing individual’s deeper thoughts. Such approaches rely,essentially, on predetermined categorisations of beliefs/attitudes which not only may misssubtle variations, but may lead to others that the respondents adopt, only because they arementioned and they would not have referred to otherwise. Thirdly they might be useful togain insight to the researcher for scheduling the interviews; my previous experiences andstudying the literature were adequate for that. Small-scale qualitative studies share a common characteristic of seeking insight forhuman beings’ beliefs, attitudes and expectations. This is exactly the case for my researchquestion, hence it is not as easy as it is conceived. Two are the main reasons. The first is thatthere may be found too many aspects of similarities and differences for such a research, so itmust be narrowed down properly. The second is teaching and learning processes are not thesame in the classrooms of one country or another ( Knipping, C. 2003). This implies that wehave to find similarities and differences within a certain theme; the next question is what todo with them. A simple juxtaposition of similarities and differences does not in itself explain.There is a need for analysis based on certain theoretical frameworks, or in the absence of asuitable theoretical framework, a need for the establishment of one, based on the differencesand similarities observed. More specifically it argues for the importance of seeking tounderstand through cross-cultural comparison the relationship between national context,
  9. 9. Magdalini Kokkaliari 11094464 Practical Research of Education 9institutional ethos and classroom practices in mediating the development of a learner’sidentity. It makes the case for seeking to understand the lived experiences of pupils and theeffect that such experiences have on their attitudes to teaching and learning. (Osborn, 2004). Thus the research should identify the broad cultural traditions of the two educationsystems of England and Greece. It suggested that ‘the English education system had grownout of a laissez-faire liberal tradition which had traditionally been associated withvoluntarism, local autonomy and differentiated provision. This promoted an individual, child-centred pedagogy which has, historically, regarded pupils as having individual needs andabilities which required different types and levels of schooling.’ (Osborn, 2004). By contrast,education in Greece has been organised according to the republican ideal, which sees thestate as having a duty to provide a universal education which provides equal opportunities forall. In particular they are reflected in the balance of emphasis placed on the two central rolesof formal schooling systems, namely the inculcation of knowledge and skills on the one hand(the cognitive function) and on the other, the shaping of values and attitudes in preparationfor the future role of citizen (the affective function). How, for example, we can compareteachers’ attitudes towards students in English homogenous classrooms (setting) to the Greekheterogeneous ones? How valid and reliable could be the data? How could we overcomethese difficulties? What are the researchers’ experiences and suggestions? Can comparativeand cross-cultural research be successful under these constraints? Can it be useful and if yes,for whom? Their later book (Crossley & Vulliamy, 1997) demonstrates by example how detailedqualitative case studies can provide significant comparative insights. Cross-cultural studies ofteaching provide information about different systems of teaching and different ways in whichthe basic ingredients of teaching can be configured. Comparative findings can help
  10. 10. Magdalini Kokkaliari 11094464 Practical Research of Education 10researchers construct more informed hypotheses about the ways different instructionalpractices might influence learning. These hypotheses can then form the basis of futureresearch that specifically seeks to determine what matters. If cross-national achievementdifferences are tied to cultural variations in teaching, we may discover ways of teaching thatwork better than the ones our society routinely deploys. (Stigler et al. 2000) Undoubtedly homework plays a significant role for students, teachers, parents, school.Since the researchers state that we can take advantage of the experience of others all over theworld, who share similar goals, at least in the domain of mathematics achievement, and fromwhom we can learn what alternatives are possible’ (Stigler et al. 2000), we can go onplanning our research on homework (although the central variable in this research is notrelevant as it is a cross-cultural research, we can define homework as central). The mostresponsible to speak for this are the teachers, themselves, who design and decide theirstudents’ homework assignments. Let ‘purpose on homework’ be the independent variablewith values as defined before: practical skills, preparation, personal development,participation, public relations, policy, peers interaction, parents-child, parents teacher,punishment. We can collect data for teachers’ beliefs, for how this influences on student’sachievement in mathematics, on parents’ engagement and the effect on students’ attainment.To gain insight on mathematics teachers’ views on all above aspects, for further research onhomework: which one they consider as more important, in what sense, what its role onstudents’ academic (in mathematics, or else) development, what are their expectations fromtheir students’ parents/carers, especially from those, whose children are not consistent withtheir homework, which are their difficulties and to what extent and finally to identify thesimilarities and differences between Greek and English mathematics teachers, I would collectqualitative data by semi-structured interviews with open questions.
  11. 11. Magdalini Kokkaliari 11094464 Practical Research of Education 11 For all the reasons I explained above, there is a problem with the reliability andvalidity of collected data. Validity means that correct procedures have been applied to findanswers to a question; hence reliability refers to the quality of a measurement procedure thatprovides repeatability and accuracy. To improve my results from these two points of view, Inarrowed it down:  Key stage 5- posy compulsory education; in these years Mathematics is an optional lesson similar to A Level Maths and classes are similar to the corresponding English ones.  the sample of teachers chosen is going to be similarly representative with respect to age, sex, experience  the schools chosen are going to be comprehensive from areas with habitants of the same socio-economic statusPresenting the final outline planRefining the research question resulted in narrowing it further:In which ways do mathematics teachers expect homework to contribute to theirstudents’ achievement and what is their parents’/carers’ role? A comparison study ofEnglish and Greek post compulsory mathematics teachers The theoretical framework of the set of approaches of the final outline plan is tocollect qualitative data by interviews and to research the similarities and differences amongEnglish and Greek post compulsory mathematics teachers’ beliefs for the effect of theirdesigned homework on their students’ attainment in mathematics
  12. 12. Magdalini Kokkaliari 11094464 Practical Research of Education 12 Given the resources available, I would interview ten English and ten Greekmathematics teachers who work in comprehensive schools in post compulsory education (16-18) from districts with similar socio-economic status.Plan action- MethodologyPre Interview I would send them an e-mail explaining who I am and what I am interested in. I wouldwrite in details why I have contacted them and if they would agree to give me an interviewvia Skype, suggesting the dates and the times and asking for their permission to create avideo. I would let them know how the research would be reported and when. Finally I wouldguarantee confidentiality. (Ralph Levinson 2012 Session 2 PRMA)Interview I would use semi-structured interviews. My aim is to give teachers the chance tospeak, to tell their stories. I would plan an interview schedule of open-ended questions toprobe them speak free, to offer deeper, sensitive and accurate portrayals of experience. It is akind of narrative research and narrative researchers believe that teachers construct stories tomake sense of their professional world (Drake 2006, Swindler 2006 from Paul Andrews2009). That is, stories, “as lived and told by teachers, serve as the lens through which theyunderstand themselves personally and professionally and through which they view thecontent and context of their work” (Drake et al. 2001, p. 2). Moreover, “these stories aresubject-matter-specific and may differ greatly from subject to subject” (ibid). (Paul Andrews2009). I need the interview schedule of open questions for one more reason; to ensure that Ihave identified the areas that should be discussed. The open questions must be clear, noleading, in an appropriate language, piloting. The arranged time and date I would call them and after their permission I would startinterviewing. The interviews would be held over Skype and I would create a video using
  13. 13. Magdalini Kokkaliari 11094464 Practical Research of Education 13Snagit. During the interviews I would try to take notes and not to intervene in any other wayexcept prompting, if necessary.Post Interview Afterwards I would work on every interview separately. The two sets of data, Englishand Greek, would be analysed separately to ensure that culturally located differences wouldnot be obscured. I would look over my notes and keep more than one copy of the interviewdata. I would leave the data for a day or two to distance myself from the person and mymemories of interacting with them. I would return to the data to transcribe the audio into atranscript, trying to immerse myself in data and feel what emerges. (Ralph Levinson 2012Session 2 PRMA) I would post them their own transcript for agreement as to their contenteven if they didn’t ask for it. Most important at this point is how I would analyse theinterviews. Analysing qualitative data means making sense of, and interpreting, theinformation in terms of the meaning my interview subjects bring. Through my interpretation,I should be able to make abstracted connections between the interview subjects. This wouldhelp inform the nuances of my proposed design guidelines. The better way to achieve it is tostructure carefully the code. The best way is to read the transcription carefully and in duecourse to read id again to ensure that I would not be influenced –as much as possible- fromprevious reading. Then I would re-organise it in the direction of the information it revealsfamiliar to me from the whole work I have done planning the research. In Appendix IV Isuggest an initial code–from a sample pair of interviews that I conducted during planning thisresearch (Appendix III) - which I think could be helpful for analysing the collected data. Thisinitial code could be done for every single interview and then, the data of every country canbe compared easily since the size of the sample is small. Samples of larger sizes can be
  14. 14. Magdalini Kokkaliari 11094464 Practical Research of Education 14analysed statistically as quantitative data and the correlations of the variables may lead tomore warranted correlation as it is known that large-scale studies are less prone to problems ofreliability.Structured Questions: 1. Which, do you think, is the contribution of homework on student’s mathematics learning in secondary education? 2. What do you do if students do not do their homework? 3. And the teacher tries in one way or the other but the student continues not to respond in a desirable way. Which is the next step? 4. What is the parents’ role in this point, to help a student improve his attainment with homework? 5. Should the parents help their children with their homework or is homework something between the student and the teacher? Ethics Although I have mentioned some of them in previous paragraphs, I am going toinclude all the ethical issues, in an attempt to show how essential they are for me. First of all my research is going to be conducted within an ethic of respect for: theperson, first I mean the teachers: to guarantee their anonymity, to respect every personalitytraits, not to take up too much of their time, to have their informed content. I am going tochange all names and ‘do my best to see that participants cannot be identified in anything Iwrite and take care that my questions do not leave them feeling unreasonably negative abouttheir practices. I have to think carefully about the research maxim ‘does no harm’ as it is notobvious how your research could harm anyone’ (Jenny Houssart 2012). For example, in thebeginning I was wondering whether I should mention the teachers’ names in theacknowledgements. Later on, I realised that it raises ethical issues and I should send a letterexpressing the teachers my appreciation for their help. ‘Harm can entail a number of facets: physical harm, harm to participantsdevelopment, loss of self-esteem, stress and using inducing subjects ‘to performreprehensible acts’, as Diener and Crandall (1978:19) put it’ (Bryman 2008).
  15. 15. Magdalini Kokkaliari 11094464 Practical Research of Education 15 I should show respect for their students, their parents and the whole community oftheir school, their community, country and any possible local ethical issues. In addition Ishould guarantee the confidentiality of the data collected; I should try to improve thereliability and validity of my data, explaining the exact way of drawing my conclusions.While analysing the data I must try to be as objective as possible and try to exclude anypossibility of my research being harmful for anyone involved or not and show respect forknowledge and Academic Freedom (quotes from Ethics: BERA guidelines). Individuals should be treated fairly, sensitively, with dignity, and within an ethic ofrespect and freedom from prejudice regardless of age, gender, sexuality, race, ethnicity, class,nationality, cultural identity, partnership status, faith, disability, political belief or any othersignificant difference. This ethic of respect should apply to both the researchers themselvesand any individuals participating in the research either directly or indirectly. Adherence tothis ethic of respect implies the following responsibilities on the part of researchers.Researchers must make known to the participants (or their guardians or responsible others)any predictable detriment arising from the process or findings of the research and ensure thatI take steps to minimize the effects of designs that advantage or are perceived to advantageone group of participants over others (BERA guidelines Ethics 2012)Conclusion Comparative study is a quite difficult kind of analysing data. The difficulties wereobvious while I was trying to establish the theoretical framework. In this small-scale researcha lot of significant variable left aside. The curriculum, the examinations, the frequency ofhomework, the quality of tasks designed to fulfil a specific purpose, the ability of students,the number of students per class, the policy of the school are all of them factors that would bevery interesting to see how they interact with the three human factors involved through anaspect of pedagogy, which is the crossroad where they meet each other. But even in this
  16. 16. Magdalini Kokkaliari 11094464 Practical Research of Education 16inadequate effort, I had the chance to view how many useful conclusions the researcher candraw from unexpected similarities and differences that appear out of the blue. Especially mylast moment’s choice of post compulsory education, when Mathematics is an optionalsubject, chosen by students with high attainment seems to inverse the differences seen beforeand make things converge, not necessarily for the improvement of mathematics teaching andlearning in the classroom. I would be highly interested in conducting a research with two carefully chosen casestudies whom we could observe for a period of time, for example one year, or even a termand have the opportunity to observe and write down what kind of homework the teachersgive, the frequency, the students’ consistence, the reasons of inconsistency, the teachers’manipulation, the parents’ attitudes, the peers’ reactions. I am sure that we would draw veryinteresting conclusions on how teacher, student and his parents’ interact each other creating arelationship with more similarities no matter how different the culture is.,
  17. 17. Magdalini Kokkaliari 11094464 Practical Research of Education 17ACKNOWLEDGEMENTSI should like to thank most sincerely Ralph Levinson, Jenny Houssart, Fiona Rodger for theirimpeccable presence and organisation of all illuminating sessions of ‘Practical Research inEducation’, Jacek Brant, Paul Davies and Candia Morgan, whom I do thank as well, but anadditional huge thank you to Jenny Houssart for her encouraging, prompting comments andcare for her students; attitudes that taught me a lot for my role as a teacher.MAGDALINI KOKKALIARIKOK11094464MMAMAT_04MA STUDENTMATHEMATICS EDUCATIONINSTITUTE OF RDUCATIONUNIVERSITY OF LONDONJUNE 2012REFERENCES
  18. 18. Magdalini Kokkaliari 11094464 Practical Research of Education 18Paul Andrews. (2007). Negotiating meaning in cross-national studies of mathematicsteaching: kissing frogs to find princes Comparative Education Vol. 43( 4), pp. 489–509Paul Andrews 2009 Comparing Hungarian and English Mathematics Teachers’ ProfessionalMotivations Proceedings of CERMEBERA Ethical guidelines for Educational Research 2012Alan Bryman 2008 Social research methods Oxford University PressCorno, L. (2000). Looking at homework differently. The Elementary School Journal, 100,529–548.Cooper, H. (1989). Homework. White Plains, NY: Longman.Crossley, M. & Vulliamy, G. (1984) Case study research methods and comparativeeducation, Comparative Education, 20, 193–207.Diener and Crandall (1978:19) Ethics in Social and Behavioural Research in Chicago:University of Chicago PressNicole M. Else-Quest, Janet S. Hyde, and Ahalya Hejmadi: Mother and Child Emotionsduring Mathematics Homework, Mathematical Thinking and Learning, 10: 5–35, 2008Epstein, J. L., & Van Voorhis, F. L. (2001). More than minutes: Teachers’ roles in designinghomework. Educational Psychologist, 36, 181–193.Hiebert, Gallimore et al 1999 Teaching Mathematics in seven countries Results from theTIMSS 1999 video study Dep. Of Education U.S.A.Jenny Houssart 2012 Comments on draft of Assignment PRMAHyde, J. S., Else-Quest, N. M., Alibali, M. W., Knuth, E., & Romberg, T. (2006).
  19. 19. Magdalini Kokkaliari 11094464 Practical Research of Education 19G. Kaiser, E. Luna & I. Huntley 1999 (Eds.), International comparisons in mathematicseducation.Kawanaka, T., Stigler, J., & Hiebert, J. (1999). Studying mathematics classrooms inGermany, Japan and the United States: lessons from the TIMSS videotape study.Knipping, C. (2003). Learning from comparing: A review and reflection on qualitativeoriented comparisons of teaching and learning mathematics in different countries. ZDM,35(6), 282-293Ralph Levinson 2012 Lectures for Practical Research in Education Institute of EducationMathematics in the home: Homework practices and mother-child interactions doingmathematics. Journal of Mathematical Behavior, 25, 136–152.Mathematics Benchmarking Reports: How Much of Their Out-of-School Time Do StudentsSpend on Homework During the School Week? TIMSS 1999 Eighth GradeMuhlenbruck, L., Cooper, H., Nye, B., & Lindsay, J. J. (2000). Homework and achievement:Explaining the different strengths of relation at the elementary and secondary school levels.Social Psychology of Education, 3, 295–317Osborn, M. (2004). ‘New methodologies for comparative research? Establishing ‘constantsand ‘contexts’ in educational experience’, Oxford Review of Education, 30(2), 265–285Stigler, J. W., Gallimore, R. and Hiebert, J. (2000). Using video surveys to compareclassrooms and teaching across cultures: Examples and lessons from the TIMSS videostudies. Educational Psychologist, 35, 2, 87-100.Swidler, S. A. (2000). Notes on a country school tradition: Recitation as an individualstrategy. Journal of Research in Rural Education, 16, 8-21.
  20. 20. Magdalini Kokkaliari 11094464 Practical Research of Education 20Pamela M. Warton: The Forgotten Voices in Homework: Views of Students EducationalPsychologist, 36(3), 155–165, 2001APPENDIX ITwo tasks in Practical Research Module
  21. 21. Magdalini Kokkaliari 11094464 Practical Research of Education 21 1. Qualitative data (Magdalini Kokkaliari 18/2/2012)Research Question: What are ‘uninterested’ in mathematics students’ beliefs, emotions, attitude towards mathematics? As a Mathematics teacher, I am highly interested in how students feel aboutmathematics, especially those, who are classified by their teachers as ‘uninterested’ in that.What are their beliefs, their emotions, affect, attitude. To gain insight on the development of‘attitude’ I conducted a face to face interview with an 18-year-old student, who has justfinished secondary education in an independent school of London. I explained to him thepurpose and the ethics (because of which, I have changed some details), he accepted to beinterviewed and the responses were recorded as audio. The interview took place at the school(at which I teach and he used to be a student, but not in my classes), it lasted 8.25 minutesand the design was semi-structured. Hence on the one hand, I had a guide, but on the other, Iwas able to conduct an open and fluid interview, giving by prompting my interviewee thechance to express his emotions and ideas.Structured Questions: 1. What are your feelings now that your school life has come to an end? 2. How would you describe your relationship with maths during your school years? 3. Do you remember what you liked/disliked about maths? 4. Do you thing that your teachers could have changed in some way your relationship with maths? 5. If you started school all over again, would you change anything?
  22. 22. Magdalini Kokkaliari 11094464 Practical Research of Education 22Afterwards I transcribed it and structured the code:Initial Coding:  emotions  the student experiences during mathematics related activities His emotions in the mathematics class still included both pleasant ‘well multiplications, additions, subtractions it was fun…..the best time’ and unpleasant ones ‘it started being a little bit confusing, difficult and could not get it, so disappointing,’54, 56, 77), but the balance had clearly changed towards the negative, as he moved from elementary to secondary school ‘In the primary school maths was my favourite subject, but later I could not get it, I should work hard without success…... so disappointing’  the student automatically associates with the concept mathematics (‘All these letters instead of numbers….and geometry, with all these proofs…..was so confusing and embarrassing’ )  beliefs  utility ‘but then in Year 10-13 you have to learn some advanced maths, which I don’t think that a lot of people are going to use in their everyday life’  Peers’ attitude-teacher’s role (‘other students may ask the teacher questions when they don’t get it. Not me, everybody is looking at you, you feel embarrassed’)
  23. 23. Magdalini Kokkaliari 11094464 Practical Research of Education 23  self-efficacy (‘my own way is like ‘if you can’t do it……….try a little harder and if you still can’t get through, then time comes to give up’)  No change (‘Change anything? Err….To be honest, I don’t know if there is any other way to do the lesson, because it has been the same way for sixteen years now, my whole life. If this has been the only way for all these years, I don’t think that anything could change now.’)  attitude The analysis of the interview suggests a multidimensional, interconnected model of negative attitude towards mathematics, quite useful for teachers as a tool for constructing an accurate diagnosis for their students’ attitude towards mathematics and intervenes towards a change of it.References:1. Bryman, A. (2008). Social research methods (3rd edition). Oxford: Oxford UniversityPress.2. Gathering and analysing data through interviews (2012) MA Practical ResearchPresentation by Ralph LevinsonResearch Question:
  24. 24. Magdalini Kokkaliari 11094464 Practical Research of Education 24 What are ‘uninterested’ in mathematics students’ beliefs, emotions, attitude towards mathematics? As a Mathematics teacher, I am highly interested in how students feel aboutmathematics, especially those, who are classified by their teachers as ‘uninterested’ in that.What are their beliefs, their emotions, affect, attitude. To gain insight on the development of‘attitude’ I conducted a face to face interview with an 18-year-old student, who has justfinished secondary education in an independent school of London. I explained to him thepurpose and the ethics (because of which, I have changed some details), he accepted to beinterviewed and the responses were recorded as audio. The interview took place at the school(at which I teach and he used to be a student, but not in my classes), it lasted 8.25 minutesand the design was semi-structured. Hence on the one hand, I had a guide, but on the other, Iwas able to conduct an open and fluid interview, giving by prompting my interviewee thechance to express his emotions and ideas.Structured Questions: 6. What are your feelings now that your school life has come to an end? 7. How would you describe your relationship with maths during your school years? 8. Do you remember what you liked/disliked about maths? 9. Do you thing that your teachers could have changed in some way your relationship with maths? 10. If you started school all over again, would you change anything?
  25. 25. Magdalini Kokkaliari 11094464 Practical Research of Education 25Afterwards I transcribed it and structured the code:Initial Coding:  emotions  the student experiences during mathematics related activities His emotions in the mathematics class still included both pleasant ‘well multiplications, additions, subtractions it was fun…..the best time’ and unpleasant ones ‘it started being a little bit confusing, difficult and could not get it, so disappointing,’54, 56, 77), but the balance had clearly changed towards the negative, as he moved from elementary to secondary school ‘In the primary school maths was my favourite subject, but later I could not get it, I should work hard without success…... so disappointing’  the student automatically associates with the concept mathematics (‘All these letters instead of numbers….and geometry, with all these proofs…..was so confusing and embarrassing’ )  beliefs  utility ‘but then in Year 10-13 you have to learn some advanced maths, which I don’t think that a lot of people are going to use in their everyday life’  Peers’ attitude-teacher’s role (‘other students may ask the teacher questions when they don’t get it. Not me, everybody is looking at you, you feel embarrassed’)  self-efficacy (‘my own way is like ‘if you can’t do it……….try a little harder and if you still can’t get through, then time comes to give up’)  No change (‘Change anything? Err….To be honest, I don’t know if there is any other way to do the lesson, because it has been the same way for sixteen
  26. 26. Magdalini Kokkaliari 11094464 Practical Research of Education 26 years now, my whole life. If this has been the only way for all these years, I don’t think that anything could change now.’)  attitude The analysis of the interview suggests a multidimensional, interconnected model of negative attitude towards mathematics, quite useful for teachers as a tool for constructing an accurate diagnosis for their students’ attitude towards mathematics and intervenes towards a change of it.References:1. Bryman, A. (2008). Social research methods (3rd edition). Oxford: Oxford UniversityPress.2. Gathering and analysing data through interviews (2012) MA Practical ResearchPresentation by Ralph Levinson
  27. 27. Magdalini Kokkaliari 11094464 Practical Research of Education 27 APPENDIX II 2. Quantitative data (Magdalini Kokkaliari 4/3/2012)
  28. 28. Magdalini Kokkaliari 11094464 Practical Research of Education 28THE SURVEYBy Sunday 4th March I created a questionnaire using Survey Monkey with 10 questions (ittook no more than a couple of minutes to complete, as I was told by 2 respondents, I sent itfor piloting). These questions were multiple choice and the questionnaire was in the form of asurvey on ‘mathematics teachers’ beliefs for students’ homework’. 17 mathematics teachers-from London and Athens- responded in the following questions: 1. Are you: o male o female? 2. How old are you? o 20-30 o 31-40 o 41-50 o 50+ 3. How long have you taught for all together? o less than a year o 1 - 2 years o 3 - 9 years o 10 or more years 4. At what o Key Stages you teach? o Key Stage 1 o Key Stage 2
  29. 29. Magdalini Kokkaliari 11094464 Practical Research of Education 29 o Key Stage 3 o Key Stage 4 (GCSE etc.) o Sixth Form (A Level, Internatonal Baccalaureate, Cambridge Pre-U) 5. At school was Mathematics the subject o which you enjoyed most o in which you excelled most o at which you worked hardest o which you thought was the most important 6. Did you have extra tuition in Mathematics outside school? o Yes o No 7. On average, how long do you expect pupils in your class to spend on a typical piece of homework? o up to 10 minutes o 11-20 minutes o 21-30 minutes o 31-40 minutes o more than 40 minutes o I dont give homework 8. What contribution do you think homework makes to students learning? o large o small o too little o not at all
  30. 30. Magdalini Kokkaliari 11094464 Practical Research of Education 30 9. What do you do if students do not do their homework? o Ask them to do it another time o Use punishments o Do nothing o Call parent/carer o Other (please specify) 10. If a student is not able to do a part of his/her homework, should he/she ask for help from o the teacher only o parent/carer/friends THE TOPIC The topic is very important for research on teachers’ and students’ attitude towards mathematics and the role of homework. Despite the long history of homework and homework research, the role that homework plays in enhancing student achievement in mathematics is, at best, controversial. Mathematics teachers’ beliefs for the contribution of homework on their students’ learning is highly interesting for further research. The data I’ve collected were from a representative sample with respect to sex, age, experience and stage at which teach, as it is shown from the graphs of the four first questions:
  31. 31. Magdalini Kokkaliari 11094464 Practical Research of Education 31The questions 5 and 6 were aimed at finding out what student’s attitude/emotion belieftowards mathematics determines a mathematics teacher’s career as an adult:The last four questions were in alignment with my research question:
  32. 32. Magdalini Kokkaliari 11094464 Practical Research of Education 321. Which topic are you covering?The data I’ve collected gave me the information that:  a positive student’s attitude towards mathematics in the sense that it is an enjoyable subject, easy to excel, without extra tuition (self-sufficient), leads to a career as a mathematics teacher  mathematics teachers think that homework (21-30 minutes on average) contributes to student’s learning, which is expected to be done at least another time, using even punishments or asking parents’ help, under any circumstances (only one answered that it depends on the particular circumstances)  there is a dichotomy among mathematics teachers whether students should ask help only by their teachers or by parents/friends etc. in case they are not able to do a part of their homework.
  33. 33. Magdalini Kokkaliari 11094464 Practical Research of Education 33 The data answered my survey question that teachers believe that homework has a large contribution on students’ mathematics learning and I think that these data addressed the research question I posed. There was a limitation taking answers why they think that students, who are not able to do part of their work should ask their parents/friends etc. for help and not only their teacher, although they had experienced mathematics as students as the subject they enjoy, they excel and they had no need of extra tuition.
  34. 34. Magdalini Kokkaliari 11094464 Practical Research of Education 34APPENDI IIISo I planned to conduct two semi-structured interviews with two mathematics teachers insecondary education, held over Skype (one English and one Greek). I designed aquestionnaire with open-ended questions to encourage full, meaningful answers using myinterviewees’ own knowledge and/or feelings. I sent them an email (to the Greek one) and aFacebook message (to the English one) explaining the purpose of my interview. The first onereplied in due course and accepted to be interviewed, in the way I have planned. The secondone replied after a long time, apologising and explaining that he had completely missed thatlast message. He added that he was willing to be interviewed at any time I wanted and askedme to send him the questions.Although it was late, it was a temptation for me to have a second opinion in the way I hadfirst planned it, with a little change (Facebook instead of Skype). So I sent the questions andgot the answers in a Facebook message.Structured Questions: 6. Which, do you think, is the contribution of homework on student’s mathematics learning in secondary education? 7. What do you do if students do not do their homework? 8. And the teacher tries in one way or the other but the student continues not to respond in a desirable way. Which is the next step? 9. What is the parents’ role in this point, to help a student improve his attainment with homework? 10. Should the parents help their children with their homework or is homework something between the student and the teacher?APPENDIX IVHomeworkTeacher’s beliefs  Purpose o Practical skills  Parents engagement o Desirable Student’s improvement negative Positive
  35. 35. Magdalini Kokkaliari 11094464 Practical Research of Education 35 unchangeable o Undesirable Student’s improvement negative Positive unchangeable o Preparation  Parents engagement o Desirable Student’s improvement negative Positive unchangeable o Undesirable Student’s improvement negative Positive unchangeable o Personal Development  Parents engagement o Desirable Student’s improvement negative Positive unchangeable o Undesirable Student’s improvement negative Positive unchangeable o Peers’ interaction  Parents engagement o Desirable Student’s improvement negative Positive unchangeable o Undesirable Student’s improvement negative Positive unchangeable o Parents-child  Subject know Parents engagement o Desirable Student’s improvement negative Positive
  36. 36. Magdalini Kokkaliari 11094464 Practical Research of Education 36 unchangeable o Undesirable Student’s improvement negative Positive unchangeable o Parents-teacher’  Parents engagement o Desirable Student’s improvement negative Positive unchangeable o Undesirable Student’s improvement negative Positive unchangeable o policy  Parents engagement o Desirable Student’s improvement negative Positive unchangeable o Undesirable Student’s improvement negative Positive unchangeable o Public relations  Parents engagement o Desirable Student’s improvement negative Positive unchangeable o Undesirable Student’s negative improvement Positive unchangeable o punishment  Parents engagement o Desirable Student’s improvement negative Positive unchangeable o Undesirable Student’s improvement negative Positive
  37. 37. Magdalini Kokkaliari 11094464 Practical Research of Education 37 unchangeable

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