Cultural Considerations in Support of Mathematical Perseverance:; The Role of Context Activation
This paper describes the ways in which consideration of students’ out-of-school practices; might be related to understanding and supporting students’ mathematical perseverance. It; discusses a study in which children were presented mathematics tasks related and unrelated to; their everyday experiences. With the tasks related to their everyday lives, in addition to showing; greater success, students also demonstrated greater levels of mathematical perseverance. This; paper provides a theoretical framework that explains these findings by suggesting that children; draw on previous experiences outside of school when solving these types of tasks, which appear; to activate norms and orientations toward math that children use in out-of-school settings. Since; problem solving in these settings often has “real life” consequences, children develop higher; expectations that math can be meaningful, and these higher expectations for meaning appear to; result in greater perseverance. The paper concludes with implications for teacher preparation and; suggestions for future research.