Mathematics, mastery and metacognition: how adding a creative approach can support children in maths

Journal article


Bonnett, V., Yuill, N. and Carr, A. 2017. Mathematics, mastery and metacognition: how adding a creative approach can support children in maths. Educational and Child Psychology. 34 (1), pp. 83-93.
AuthorsBonnett, V., Yuill, N. and Carr, A.
Abstract

Background: Children who hold an incremental view of ability show greater perseverance, improved help-seeking skills and are better able to cope with unexpected challenges. Classroom instruction can influence how children view themselves as learners.

Aim: To explore how mastery-orientated classroom instruction, collaborative learning and metacognitive reflection can foster learners’ attitudes to their task performance. We hypothesised that using a mastery-oriented approach within a mathematics curriculum encourages metacognition, improves motivation and helps children achieve an underlying understanding of mathematical concepts thus improving mathematics
performance.

Method: This paper reports an 11-week project aiming to embed problem-solving strategies within a mastery-oriented whole-class environment. Children completed pre- and post-task semi-structured interviews and maths problems in addition to the 11-week collaborative maths project. Participants were 24 children from a rural primary school in East Sussex, 12 boys and 12 girls (mean age 8 years and 9 months). The interviews are presented qualitatively and a repeated measures analysis of variance on mathematics motivation and performance was conducted.
Findings: The learners showed increased metacognitive reflection on learning strategies as well as increases in girls’ motivation for mathematics.

Limitations: This is a small sample size and, being conducted within a typical everyday classroom, there were several uncontrolled variables. Although change was evident in both attitude and maths scores, it was difficult to apportion added value to the different variables contributing to the change in maths scores.

Conclusions: Challenging children’s perceptions of mathematics encouraged greater self-reflection and increased motivation for girls.

KeywordsMathematics; mastery-orientation; metacognition; reflection; creativity
Year2017
JournalEducational and Child Psychology
Journal citation34 (1), pp. 83-93
PublisherThe British Psychological Society
ISSN0267-1611
Publication dates
PrintMar 2017
Publication process dates
Deposited16 Dec 2016
AcceptedJun 2016
Accepted author manuscript
Output statusPublished
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https://repository.canterbury.ac.uk/item/87zw2/mathematics-mastery-and-metacognition-how-adding-a-creative-approach-can-support-children-in-maths

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