Lärsituationens komplexitet för elever som upplever svårigheter i matematik : Rutiga Familjen i en ny lärmiljö
Sammanfattning: The Squares Family is a game developed as a learning aid in mathematics. With its graphical representation of the decimal system, the four basic arithmetic operations and positive and negative numbers together with a learning agent as pedagogical approach, the game’s primary purpose is to motivate students in their learning of mathematics. Although the game is strictly based on mathematical rules it attempts to encourage students to play and work with math without experiencing it as mathematics as this is initially not obvious. The game being internationally tested on normal performing students, this project introduced the game to six Swedish students who experience low motivation for and/or difficulties in mathematics. The students from fifth up to seventh grade participated therefore in a three weeks’ study. The ultimate goal of this project is to make suggestions on the integration of the game in the students’ learning environment and on the adaptation of it to fit their needs. In order to be able to make such recommendations, following question was raised: How does the learning situation look like for students experiencing difficulties in mathematics? An attempt to understand the complexity of their learning situation was made through several tests in students’ attitude, self-efficacy and understanding of mathematics, through observations of their game playing, interview with their pedagogue and through a questionnaire on their attitude towards the game and their special education in mathematics and in their understanding of traditionally vs. graphically represented mathematical problems. Despite the time limited study it is obvious that the students’ difficulties in mathematics are not independent of other factors, as the majority of these students display a negative attitude, a low self-efficacy and a sensibility for disturbances and reactions from their social network.
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