"The blue table means you don't have a clue": the persistence of fixed-ability thinking and practices in primary mathematics in English schools

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

The use of structured ability grouping is increasing in English primary schools and is regularly seen in primary mathematics classrooms. Ability is a normalised discourse with beliefs that some individuals are ‘born to do maths' permeating society and infiltrating school practices. In this article, observation and interview data illustrate the persistence of fixed-ability thinking, even in situations where explicit ability grouping practices are not used. The data analysis suggests a mismatch between mixed ability practices and fixed-ability thinking, and the article argues that change will be difficult.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)31-44
Number of pages14
JournalForum: For Promoting 3-19 Comprehensive Education
Volume55
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2013

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