About this paper

Appears in:
Pages: 6002-6011
Publication year: 2015
ISBN: 978-84-608-2657-6
ISSN: 2340-1095

Conference name: 8th International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
Dates: 18-20 November, 2015
Location: Seville, Spain

DEVELOPING PEER COACHING FOR MATHEMATICAL RESILIENCE IN POST-16 STUDENTS WHO ARE ENCOUNTERING MATHEMATICS IN OTHER SUBJECTS

S. Johnston-Wilder1, C. Lee2, J. Brindley1, L. Garton3

1University of Warwick (UNITED KINGDOM)
2Open University (UNITED KINGDOM)
3The Progression Trust (UNITED KINGDOM)
Many students are known to have mathematics anxiety (Johnston-Wilder et al 2014). When such students begin to specialise, they may deliberately choose courses to keep mathematical content to a minimum or seek to avoid it altogether. Nevertheless, many courses employ more mathematics than expected, requiring students to apply mathematical thinking or mathematical ideas in their work, and often resulting in significant distress. Typically students feel alone in facing their issues with mathematics anxiety. In previous work, we used the term ‘mathematical resilience’ to describe the positive stance towards mathematics that enables learners to overcome the barriers and setbacks that can be part of learning mathematics. In this paper, we present and discuss the outcomes of a course in ‘peer coaching for mathematical resilience’ for students who have chosen not to take courses with explicit mathematics, but who continue to encounter mathematics within other subjects.

The course aimed to develop a group of peer coaches in school, who support each other and their peers to develop mathematical resilience. Mathematical resilience can be engineered by a strategic and explicit focus on the culture of learning mathematics within both formal and informal learning environments, using coaches specifically trained to support emergent resilience. Coaches for mathematical resilience develop a culture of ‘can do’ mathematics which works to counter the prevalent culture of mathematics helplessness and mathematics anxiety in the general population. The coaches are not required to know the answer but rather to know ways that might yield an understanding of the mathematical ideas involved which thus leads to an answer.

A previous paper described the development, pilot and outcomes of the level 1 Coaching for Mathematical Resilience course, in which participants were adult trainers, mostly maths-anxious, working in an apprenticeship context. This paper discusses the outcomes of the same course for a group of 5 school students (Sept to Nov 2014), who volunteered to become ‘peer coaches for mathematical resilience’ in school. The course provided a safe and collaborative working environment in which the school students learned to manage their own reactions to mathematical ideas, to explore choices and to reflect on how to support someone else to find the resources to overcome their own barriers to learning mathematics.

The data confirm that once a school student has begun to develop their own personal mathematical resilience, they can successfully coach themselves and others to manage their anxiety and develop as resilient learners and users of mathematics. Learner outcomes improved noticeably as a result.
@InProceedings{JOHNSTONWILDER2015DEV,
author = {Johnston-Wilder, S. and Lee, C. and Brindley, J. and Garton, L.},
title = {DEVELOPING PEER COACHING FOR MATHEMATICAL RESILIENCE IN POST-16 STUDENTS WHO ARE ENCOUNTERING MATHEMATICS IN OTHER SUBJECTS},
series = {8th International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation},
booktitle = {ICERI2015 Proceedings},
isbn = {978-84-608-2657-6},
issn = {2340-1095},
publisher = {IATED},
location = {Seville, Spain},
month = {18-20 November, 2015},
year = {2015},
pages = {6002-6011}}
TY - CONF
AU - S. Johnston-Wilder AU - C. Lee AU - J. Brindley AU - L. Garton
TI - DEVELOPING PEER COACHING FOR MATHEMATICAL RESILIENCE IN POST-16 STUDENTS WHO ARE ENCOUNTERING MATHEMATICS IN OTHER SUBJECTS
SN - 978-84-608-2657-6/2340-1095
PY - 2015
Y1 - 18-20 November, 2015
CI - Seville, Spain
JO - 8th International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
JA - ICERI2015 Proceedings
SP - 6002
EP - 6011
ER -
S. Johnston-Wilder, C. Lee, J. Brindley, L. Garton (2015) DEVELOPING PEER COACHING FOR MATHEMATICAL RESILIENCE IN POST-16 STUDENTS WHO ARE ENCOUNTERING MATHEMATICS IN OTHER SUBJECTS, ICERI2015 Proceedings, pp. 6002-6011.
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