Resisting the desire for the unambiguous: productive gaps in researcher, teacher and student interpretations of a number story task

Mellony Graven, Alf Coles

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)
252 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

This article offers reflections on task design in the context of a Grade R (reception year) in-service numeracy project in South Africa. The research explores under what conditions, and for what learning purpose, a task designed by someone else may be recast and how varying given task specifications may support or inhibit learning, as a result of that recasting. This question is situated within a two-pronged task design challenge as to emerging gaps between the task designer’s intentions and teacher’s actions and secondly between the teachers’ intentions and students’ actions. Through analysing two teachers and their respective Grade R students’ interpretations of a worksheet task, provided to teachers in the project, we illuminate the way explicit constraints, in the form of task specifications, can be both enabling and constraining of learning. In so doing we recast this ‘double gap’ as enabling productive learning spaces for teacher educators, teachers and students.
Original languageEnglish
JournalZDM
Early online date16 May 2017
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 16 May 2017

Keywords

  • Numeracy task design
  • Number stories
  • Task specification

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