
06475947
j
2015e.00212
Schuchart, Claudia
Buch, Susanne
Piel, Sarah
Characteristics of mathematical tasks and social classrelated achievement differences among primary school children.
Int. J. Educ. Res. 70, 115 (2015).
2015
Elsevier, Amsterdam
EN
C60
D70
F90
social inequality
mathematics classroom
word problems
mathematical tasks
primary school
reallife problems
doi:10.1016/j.ijer.2014.12.002
Summary: Children from socially disadvantaged backgrounds are less successful in mathematics classes than more privileged children. Based on the theoretical work of {\it P. Bourdieu} [Distinction. A social critique of the judgement of taste. London: Routledge \& Kegan Paul (1987)] we assumed that class differences in mathematics tests can be related to the presence of everyday knowledge in a mathematical task: Due to their ``habitus'' acquired via socialization, workingclass children might be more often misled by references to the real world than serviceclass children and therefore answer the word problem incorrectly. We asked 473 year3 pupils and 360 year4 pupils in nine primary schools to answer mathematical items which varied only with regard to whether items were embedded in experiencebased contexts (``realistic'') or not (``pure''). Our findings indicate that correct response rates of workingclass and serviceclass children were not systematically related to item context. Since the impact of social class on correct response rates varies significantly among classes for realistic test scores, but only to a minor extent for purely mathematical test scores, further studies should focus on the differential impact of classroom instruction on mathematics achievement of children with different social backgrounds.