An examination of the place of school mathematics in preparing pupils for the workplace in Antigua and Barbuda

Weston, Caron Olivene (2014) An examination of the place of school mathematics in preparing pupils for the workplace in Antigua and Barbuda. PhD thesis, University of Nottingham.

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This research examines the preparation made to enable mathematics teachers to appropriately prepare school leavers entering directly into the workforce upon graduation to handle the different branches of mathematics. The methodology was that of the interpretive qualitative paradigm. The method was that of the multi method case study and the tools included: constructed conversation; interviews; telephone calls; email; focus group; photography; video recording; participatory observation; observation and documentation. The theoretical framework was informed by components of the Engeström (2001) second generation model.

The study found that while there was hardly any preparation made in the system to accommodate mathematics teachers in the appropriate preparation of students to cope with rapid changes in technology and mathematical skills in the workplace, because of on-the-job training, the newly employed were able to handle the mathematics at their workplaces. Additionally, the technological tools in use at workplaces allowed employees to handle the mathematics in work: complicated algorithms associated with mathematical operations were hidden in these technological tools. Employees were then only required to perform an operation of a push or a pull of a button (switch) to turn on or to turn off the device. Equally, mathematical knowledge at the workplace was an activity; thus there was no need for the pedagogical format required for school mathematics classes. This research is significant since this is the first of its kind in the Caribbean using components of the Engeström (2001) second generation model as its theoretical framework and for examination of the mathematics informing workplaces in Antigua and Barbuda. It has also served to bridge a gap between school teachers and employers on communication of the different branches of mathematics required in the workplaces of Antigua and Barbuda. Simultaneously it represents a new block in the wall of literature from scholars in the field of workplace mathematics since the Caribbean’s space was empty.

Item Type: Thesis (University of Nottingham only) (PhD)
Supervisors: Fisher, A.M.
Gates, P.
Keywords: workplace mathematics; classroom mathematics versus workplace mathematics; mathematics in the workplace versus school mathematics; mathematics informing the jobmarket
Subjects: Q Science > QA Mathematics
Faculties/Schools: UK Campuses > Faculty of Social Sciences, Law and Education > School of Education
Item ID: 27824
Depositing User: Sharma, Sanjay
Date Deposited: 28 May 2015 10:01
Last Modified: 14 Sep 2016 10:32

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