Homework and minority students in difficulties with learning mathematics: The influence of public discourse

Troels Lange

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    In this paper, I contrast an immigrant 10 year old girl's perception of her home support and her mathematics teacher's rather different perception. According to the girl, her big sister who is in Year-10 helps her with her homework in mathematics. However, the teacher believes that she has no support from home. I show how the girl tries to align her perception of her home support with middle class Danish family values, and how the public discourse about immigrants apparently frames the teacher's perception of the resources that are available or not available to the girl. The analysis becomes an example of how mathematics teaching and learning is embedded in a wider socio-political field. On one hand, the analysis illustrates that the family resources called upon by homework are very differentially available to children with different backgrounds. On the other hand, it suggests that sometimes resources could be available that schools do not see because students are constructed as disadvantaged.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationICME 11
    Place of PublicationMexico
    Publisher11th International Congress on Mathematical Education
    Number of pages12
    Publication statusPublished - 2008
    EventInternational Congress on Mathematical Education - Monterrey, Mexico
    Duration: 06 Jul 200813 Jul 2008


    ConferenceInternational Congress on Mathematical Education


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