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    The Role of Direct Instruction and Playful Learning Pedagogies in Effective Mathematics Teaching

    Hannafin, Michelle (2022) The Role of Direct Instruction and Playful Learning Pedagogies in Effective Mathematics Teaching. Masters thesis, National University of Ireland Maynooth.

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    In my research question I ask, “how can I enhance my teaching of mathematics by using a balance of direct instruction and playful learning pedagogical approaches?”. The rationale for this action research study stems from my personal value of providing high-quality teaching and learning in mathematics. As I reflected on my practice, I found myself struggling to balance a teacher-led direct instruction pedagogical approach while also upholding my values of providing active and playful learning experiences. My aim was to investigate if using a balance of these two, seemingly contrasting approaches, could work in harmony to enhance my teaching of mathematics. The research took place in a vertical mainstream school with a sample of nineteen fourth class children aged nine and ten. I used an action research methodological approach and designed an intervention to teach a series of topics in mathematics using both playful learning and direct instruction. The topics taught included: 2D shapes, time, length, fractions, fractions and decimals and multiplication. I scaffolded new concepts and designed playful learning activities that would meet the learning needs of the children and engaged in dialogue with them about their experiences of both pedagogical approaches. Throughout the intervention data was collected using surveys, group interviews and personal reflections. This data was then analysed and three themes, playful learning, the role of the teacher and using a flexible approach, with associated findings emerged. The findings suggest that playful learning and direct instruction are effective pedagogical approaches to use in the senior primary classroom and that flexibly using a combination of both results in high-quality teaching and learning. As a result of the findings, I outline the implications for my personal practice and potential contribution to the wider Irish educational context such as curriculum development.

    Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
    Additional Information: M.Ed. Froebel Department of Primary and Early Childhood Education
    Keywords: Role; Direct Instruction; Playful Learning; Pedagogies; Effective Mathematics Teaching;
    Academic Unit: Faculty of Social Sciences > Froebel Department of Primary and Early Childhood Education
    Item ID: 17264
    Depositing User: IR eTheses
    Date Deposited: 01 Jun 2023 10:25
      Use Licence: This item is available under a Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike Licence (CC BY-NC-SA). Details of this licence are available here

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