Maths textbooks and inclusive practices in the teaching of maths in the senior classes of primary schools in Ireland.
Keywords:maths, maths teaching practices, maths textbook, primary school, senior classes, inclusion, differentiation, team teaching, ability grouping, professional development
This article reports the findings from a small-scale study that sought the opinions of both class teachers (CTs) and special education teachers (SETs) on the use of maths textbooks as a teaching tool in 4th, 5th and 6th classes in Irish primary schools and determined what inclusive practices are being used by teachers to support pupils with learning difficulties in maths. This study demonstrated that the textbook is widely used by teachers in the senior classes of primary school and is seen as an important tool, influencing planning, teaching methods and teaching practices. The study highlights the didactic teacher led approaches that are being used by teachers and that despite good intentions exclusive rather than inclusive practices are being used by most teachers in the study. Emerging from the findings is the need for professional development in order to change and improve the mindset, approaches and teaching of maths for all pupils.
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