The effect of mathematical games on on-task behaviours in the primary classroom

Bragg, Leicha A. 2012, The effect of mathematical games on on-task behaviours in the primary classroom, Mathematics education research journal, vol. 24, no. 4, pp. 385-401, doi: 10.1007/s13394-012-0045-4.

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Title The effect of mathematical games on on-task behaviours in the primary classroom
Author(s) Bragg, Leicha A.ORCID iD for Bragg, Leicha A.
Journal name Mathematics education research journal
Volume number 24
Issue number 4
Start page 385
End page 401
Total pages 17
Publisher Springer
Place of publication Dordrecht, Netherlands
Publication date 2012-12
ISSN 1033-2170
Keyword(s) games
on-task behaviour
pedagogical approaches
Summary A challenge for primary classroom teachers is to maintain students’ engagement with learning tasks while catering for their diverse needs, capabilities and interests. Multiple pedagogical approaches are employed to promote on-task behaviours in the mathematics classroom. There is a general assumption by educators that games ignite children’s on-task behaviours, but there is little systemically researched empirical data to support this claim. This paper compares students’ on-task behaviours during non-digital game-playing lessons compared with non-game-playing lessons. Six randomly selected grade 5 and 6 students (9–12 year olds) were observed during ten mathematics lessons. A total of 2,100 observations were recorded via an observational schedule and analysed by comparing the percentage of exhibited behaviours. The study found the children spent 93 % of the class-time exhibiting on-task engagement during the game-playing lessons compared with 72 % during the non-game-playing lessons. The game-playing lessons also promoted greater incidents of student talk related to the mathematical task (34 %) compared with the non-game playing lessons (11 %). These results support the argument that games serve to increase students’ time-on-task in mathematics lessons. Therefore, it is contended that use of games explicitly addressing the mathematical content being taught in a classroom is one way to increase engagement and, in turn, potential for learning.
Language eng
DOI 10.1007/s13394-012-0045-4
Field of Research 130208 Mathematics and Numeracy Curriculum and Pedagogy
Socio Economic Objective 930201 Pedagogy
HERDC Research category C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
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Created: Tue, 13 Nov 2012, 06:30:51 EST by Leicha Bragg

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