Meanings of “mastery” in mathematics education: creation of concourse for a research study

Journal article

Shearman, J. 2020. Meanings of “mastery” in mathematics education: creation of concourse for a research study. Operant Subjectivity. 41 (1), pp. 121-133.
AuthorsShearman, J.

This article outlines the rationale for and methodological choices made in designing an online Q study. Pre-service and experienced secondary mathematics teachers in the UK use the word “mastery” to describe a specific development programme, a curriculum or a set of teacher or student behaviours; these multiple meanings inspired a Q methodological study to identify types of views held by mathematics teachers. The article details the study’s design process, from generation of research question, through concourse and Q sample creation and pilot studies, to the final research design and Q sample. In the UK, changes to teacher practice are often quickly dismissed as fads and fashions, so greater use of Q to evaluate teachers’ views on educational initiatives would be a useful tool to uncover and explain that which is valued by teachers.

KeywordsConcourse; Mastery in mathematics; Mathematics education; Teacher opinions; Q methodology; Q sample
JournalOperant Subjectivity
Journal citation41 (1), pp. 121-133
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)
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Publication dates
Online01 May 2020
Publication process dates
Deposited22 Mar 2021
Accepted author manuscript
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Output statusPublished

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