The project aims to understand how different pedagogical practices in mathematics at school (GCSE) and in transition to college (AS level) impact on students' dispositions and choices of subjects in post-compulsory education, and how these interact with the students' socio-cultural context. The authors believe that the quality of a student's experience and engagement in mathematics in school is crucial to their disposition and identity and consequently has a great influence on their choices and future success in mathematically-demanding subjects at college.

The project will pursue its objectives by means of:

  1. Interviews with 20+ students about their background and experiences during their progression from GCSE into post-compulsory education. Students will be interviewed on two occasions: before they enter college and during their first days at college. These students will come from four feeder schools (two schools for each of two colleges) within diverse socio-economic areas and as far as possible reflecting diverse educational practices.
  2. Case studies of educational practices will be conducted in each of the schools and colleges.
The students and institutional case studies will provide rich accounts of how socio-cultural and educational factors can influence decisions and afford/constrain the students' identities as learners of mathematics.

Start date
31 August 2008
End date
31 December 2009
Grant holder
Dr Paul Hernandez-Martinez
Professor Julian Williams
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