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Shortcomings of Mathematics Education Reform in The Netherlands: A Paradigm Case?

Shortcomings of Mathematics Education Reform in The Netherlands: A Paradigm Case? This article offers a reflection on the findings of three PhD studies, in the domains of, respectively, subtraction under 100, fractions, and algebra, which independently of each other showed that Dutch students' proficiency fell short of what might be expected of reform in mathematics education aiming at conceptual understanding. In all three cases, the disappointing results appeared to be caused by a deviation from the original intentions of the reform, resulting from the textbooks' focus on individual tasks. It is suggested that this “task propensity”, together with a lack of attention for more advanced conceptual mathematical goals, constitutes a general barrier for mathematics education reform. This observation transcends the realm of textbooks, since more advanced conceptual mathematical understandings are underexposed as curriculum goals. It is argued that to foster successful reform, a conscious effort is needed to counteract task propensity and promote more advanced conceptual mathematical understandings as curriculum goals. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Mathematical Thinking and Learning Taylor & Francis

Shortcomings of Mathematics Education Reform in The Netherlands: A Paradigm Case?

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References (82)

Publisher
Taylor & Francis
Copyright
© 2016 Koeno Gravemeijer, Geeke Bruin-Muurling, Jean-Marie Kraemer, and Irene van Stiphout. Published with license by Taylor & Francis.
ISSN
1532-7833
eISSN
1098-6065
DOI
10.1080/10986065.2016.1107821
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

This article offers a reflection on the findings of three PhD studies, in the domains of, respectively, subtraction under 100, fractions, and algebra, which independently of each other showed that Dutch students' proficiency fell short of what might be expected of reform in mathematics education aiming at conceptual understanding. In all three cases, the disappointing results appeared to be caused by a deviation from the original intentions of the reform, resulting from the textbooks' focus on individual tasks. It is suggested that this “task propensity”, together with a lack of attention for more advanced conceptual mathematical goals, constitutes a general barrier for mathematics education reform. This observation transcends the realm of textbooks, since more advanced conceptual mathematical understandings are underexposed as curriculum goals. It is argued that to foster successful reform, a conscious effort is needed to counteract task propensity and promote more advanced conceptual mathematical understandings as curriculum goals.

Journal

Mathematical Thinking and LearningTaylor & Francis

Published: Jan 2, 2016

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