The role of student presentations in the teaching of A-Level mathematics

Russell, Malcolm W. (1994) The role of student presentations in the teaching of A-Level mathematics. Masters thesis, University of Central Lancashire.

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This study examines the oral presentation of students' own solutions to A-level mathematics problems. The presentations are given to the remainder of their own mathematics group with the intention of encouraging pupil-pupil discussion. The study is a small scale action research project carried out in an independent boys school with a mixed sixth form. The study examines the techniques which students adopt to introduce and explain mathematics problems, and the type of interactions which take place between the presenter and the group during the presentations. There are three main findings. Firstly, the extent to which mathematical discussion is generated was found to be dependent on the personal relationships which exist within the group rather than the particular problem. Secondly, presenters appear to display a preference for closed questions and for questioning the group in general rather than particular individuals. Finally, a range of valuable mathematical experiences for students resulting from participation in this activity have been identified and are discussed in the report. Secondary outcomes of the study were the development of an observation schedule to facilitate the recording of these presentations and the identification of other related areas which are worthy of further investigation and study.

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