MIE Seminar: Ability Grouping in Mathematics
|Dates:||3 April 2017|
|Times:||16:30 - 18:30|
|What is it:||Seminar|
|Organiser:||School of Environment, Education and Development|
David Pomeroy from the Victoria University of Wellington, NZ will be giving a seminar on setting and ability grouping in New Zealand.
David was formerly Diane Reay’s PhD student at Cambridge before moving to New Zealand and has written several papers on gender and education. I think his work will be of relevance to anyone who has an interest in pedagogy, social justice and educational research.
Time/Venue: Monday 3rd April 5pm to 6.30pm in Ellen Wilkinson C5.1
Tea/coffee available from 4.30pm.
What to do with evidence? Mathematics ‘ability grouping’ as a case of educational research at an impasse
This seminar is partly about ‘ability grouping’ or setting in secondary mathematics, and partly a case study which poses a dilemma for those involved in educational research and/or teacher education. Setting in school mathematics is well-researched, and the balance of evidence suggests that:
ability grouping is harmful for the attainment and learner identity of most students in lower sets, and
there is inconsistent evidence regarding ‘top set’ placement and attainment, with some evidence that placement in these classes can have damaging effects on learning and learner identity.
The Education Endowment Fund’s Teaching and Learning Toolkit attributes to ability grouping a negative effect on attainment. However, mathematics ability grouping is the rule rather than the exception in both New Zealand and UK secondary schools.
In this seminar I will summarise findings from a New Zealand study on ability grouping, showing how it can work against equity in pernicious ways in a post-colonial context. This will lead to a broader discussion of how we can position ourselves as educators when dominant practices are at odds with research evidence. Do our responsibilities extend beyond the production and disemination of research and into advocacy of particular practices? How do we communicate ethically and effectively with educational practitioners? What is the role of initial teacher education in such circumstances? The seminar will include time for discussion of these issues.
Organisation: Victoria University of Wellington, NZ
Travel and Contact Information
Ellen Wilkinson Building