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.

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Title The effect of mathematical games on on-task behaviours in the primary classroom
Author(s) 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
2211-050X
Keyword(s) games
on-task behaviour
engagement
mathematics
decimals
pedagogical approaches
calculators
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
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
Persistent URL http://hdl.handle.net/10536/DRO/DU:30049400

Document type: Journal Article
Collections: School of Education
Higher Education Research Group
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Created: Tue, 13 Nov 2012, 06:30:51 EST by Leicha Bragg

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