Influences on performance in higher order thinking skills Comparison of schools participating in the mathematics A-lympiad

by E.R. van Dijk

Institution: Universiteit Utrecht
Year: 2015
Keywords: higher order thinking, problem solving, problem solving skills, mathematics education, mathematics A-lympaid, wiskunde Alympiade, teacher influence, school influence, grading
Record ID: 1251868
Full text PDF: http://dspace.library.uu.nl:8080/handle/1874/307200


Dutch mathematics education has made a shift towards higher order thinking skills. As a way of assessing these skills, the mathematics A-lympiad was created. In the course of the years, some schools would consistently perform better on this contest than others. I interviewed teachers from both high performing and low performing schools in an attempt to determine the factors that influence the performance of the students in the mathematics A-lympiad. The main differences were found in the amount of instruction about the ideas and goals of the mathematics A-lympiad and the stimulation of creative ideas. In the process, some difficulties that teachers experienced with the mathematics A-lympiad came to light. This included the role aesthetics plays in grading the essays of the mathematics A-lympiad, and how to grade the essays in general. Most of these difficulties are explainable and known, though difficult to resolve.