Math also aims to develop and demonstrate perseverance in undertaking mathematical challenges. Students recognise that mathematics has been developed in many cultures in response to human needs (Board of Studies New South Wales, 2002). Te literature provides several studies on the use of ability grouping in Mathematics. The experience of working with others and in teams can facilitate learning. Goup work provides the opportunity for students to communicate mathematically with each other, t make conjectures, t cooperate and to persevere when solving problems and undertaking investigations. Mtivation influences observational It is expected that observing how others fare in the task is heightened, wth the desire to make oneself at par or even go beyond the performance of others.
Math lessons that reflect social cognitive theory collaborate that everyone learns from each other. The teacher teaches explicitly, feding information to everyone, ten they are asked to try out the solution together with her. This is within full view of everyone else, s if errors are made, ten everyone learns from it too when teacher points it out. Provision of and practice exercise may be done within same ability groups so the students can support each other when one gets into a snag.
If they are expected to work individually, tey still learn with the group as their finished exercises are checked as a class. Cohen & Spenciner (2005) posit that group support and cooperation among students are essential in facilitating learning. I doing so, te classroom is transformed into a learning community that supports each member with the teacher as reference point. Hrlen (1999) argues that ability grouping more relevance in the area of Math than other learning areas due to the huge range of abilities that are often exhibited within the same class.
What makes it more complex is the fact that Mathematics is a hierarchical discipline where concepts build on previous concepts and more often than not, ned full understanding before proceeding to the next, mre complicated concept. Hence, Mth teachers are more likely to support homogeneous grouping than their colleagues in other subject areas. Cahan and Linchevski (1996) report from the UK where 80% Mathematics teachers believe the inappropriateness of mixed ability teaching groups whereas, i contrast, oly 16% of...
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