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Microgenetic analysis of young children’s shifts of attention in arithmetic tasks: underlying dynamics of change in phases of seemingly stable task performance

Microgenetic analysis of young children’s shifts of attention in arithmetic tasks: underlying dynamics of change in phases of seemingly stable task performance
Microgenetic analysis of young children’s shifts of attention in arithmetic tasks: underlying dynamics of change in phases of seemingly stable task performance
A key aim of mathematics teaching is for children to develop appropriate and efficient strategies for solving tasks. The analysis presented in this paper moves beyond the exploration of changes in the strategies that children employ to solve tasks and extends to observation and exploration of changes that occur when their overall solving approach remains seemingly stable. We present an analysis of data from two qualitative studies, each of which combined a microgenetic design with task-based interviews, to examine changes that occur in 5-6 year old children’s verbal reports when solving an additive task, and in 9-10 year old children’s verbal reports when solving fraction word problems. Children’s verbal reports were analysed through the lens of the theory of shifts of attention. We found that phases of stability are underlain by dynamic changes in how the same strategy is communicated and conceptualised over a number of sessions and these changes appear to be accounted for by changes related to shifts in the object and structure of children’s attention: i.e. what children attend to and how, when reporting on their solving approach. The paper extends the theory by revealing and studying micro-qualities that underlie different learners’ structure of attention during phases of stability in arithmetic tasks. The findings provide new, significant insights for understanding qualitative dynamics of change in learning. Sensitivity to differences and changes in learners’ shifts of attention is essential for teachers to make sense of what learners experience and identify opportunities conducive to further learning.
shifts of attention, arithmetic, primary education, addition, fractions, verbal reports, microgenetic
0013-1954
47-74
Voutsina, Chronoula
bd9934e7-f8e0-4b82-a664-a1fe48850082
George, Lois
6c424441-6d1b-4f7f-a370-9419549954b8
Jones, Keith
ea790452-883e-419b-87c1-cffad17f868f
Voutsina, Chronoula
bd9934e7-f8e0-4b82-a664-a1fe48850082
George, Lois
6c424441-6d1b-4f7f-a370-9419549954b8
Jones, Keith
ea790452-883e-419b-87c1-cffad17f868f

Voutsina, Chronoula, George, Lois and Jones, Keith (2019) Microgenetic analysis of young children’s shifts of attention in arithmetic tasks: underlying dynamics of change in phases of seemingly stable task performance. Educational Studies in Mathematics, 102 (1), 47-74. (doi:10.1007/s10649-019-09883-w).

Record type: Article

Abstract

A key aim of mathematics teaching is for children to develop appropriate and efficient strategies for solving tasks. The analysis presented in this paper moves beyond the exploration of changes in the strategies that children employ to solve tasks and extends to observation and exploration of changes that occur when their overall solving approach remains seemingly stable. We present an analysis of data from two qualitative studies, each of which combined a microgenetic design with task-based interviews, to examine changes that occur in 5-6 year old children’s verbal reports when solving an additive task, and in 9-10 year old children’s verbal reports when solving fraction word problems. Children’s verbal reports were analysed through the lens of the theory of shifts of attention. We found that phases of stability are underlain by dynamic changes in how the same strategy is communicated and conceptualised over a number of sessions and these changes appear to be accounted for by changes related to shifts in the object and structure of children’s attention: i.e. what children attend to and how, when reporting on their solving approach. The paper extends the theory by revealing and studying micro-qualities that underlie different learners’ structure of attention during phases of stability in arithmetic tasks. The findings provide new, significant insights for understanding qualitative dynamics of change in learning. Sensitivity to differences and changes in learners’ shifts of attention is essential for teachers to make sense of what learners experience and identify opportunities conducive to further learning.

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Voutsina George Jones ESM 2019 - Accepted Manuscript
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Accepted/In Press date: 24 January 2019
e-pub ahead of print date: 25 March 2019
Published date: 10 August 2019
Keywords: shifts of attention, arithmetic, primary education, addition, fractions, verbal reports, microgenetic

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 427646
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/427646
ISSN: 0013-1954
PURE UUID: cdfc77a3-9855-4348-865e-0bc4c56a70e9
ORCID for Chronoula Voutsina: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0003-2196-5816
ORCID for Keith Jones: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0003-3677-8802

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Date deposited: 25 Jan 2019 17:30
Last modified: 28 Apr 2022 04:29

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Contributors

Author: Lois George
Author: Keith Jones ORCID iD

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