An Analysis Upon Ability of Students In Primary Mathematics Education: Patterns and Significances |
Ability is a powerful ideology, underscoring manyeducational practices. We have extensive evidence pertaining to the impacts ofthese, particularly setting, in secondary mathematics, but there is relativelylittle research into the impacts in primary schools, despite an increase inability grouping practices at this level. This paper begins to address thisgap, discussing some of the results from my doctoral study. It explores thepervasive nature of ability and the strength of young children’s convictions ininnate ability. It also examines the role of assessment in perpetuating anability ideology, suggesting that many of the implications seen in secondaryeducation are also issues for primary mathematics. Recent scientific evidence demonstrates both theincredible potential of the brain to grow and change and the powerful impact ofgrowth mindset messages upon students’ attainment. Schooling practicesare basedupon notions of fixed ability thinking which limits students’ attainment andincreases inequality.