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Educational Studies in Mathematics

, Volume 62, Issue 1, pp 25–55 | Cite as

Opportunities to Learn and Achievement in Mathematics in a Sample of Sixth Grade Students in Lima, Peru

  • Santiago Cueto
  • Cecilia Ramirez
  • Juan Leon
Article

Abstract

In recent years, the mathematics achievement of Peruvian students has been evaluated in three national and two international studies. The results in all cases suggest very poor learning. A similar situation is found in many developing countries. In this study, we analyzed the opportunities to learn (OTL) mathematics of sixth grade students from 22 public schools in Lima, Peru. OTL were defined in this study as curriculum coverage, cognitive demand of the tasks posed to the students, percent of mathematical exercises that were correct and quality of feedback. These variables were coded in the workbooks and notebooks of the students, which were gathered at the end of the school year (at the same time, the mathematics achievement test was administered). The results show that: (a) regarding OTL, less than half of the exercises available in the workbooks were solved, teachers overemphasize some topics of the national curriculum ({i.e.} related to Number and Number Sense), they pose tasks that are at very low levels of cognitive demand, and it is common to find mistakes in the students' answers to problems that have no feedback (or even worse, the feedback is wrong); (b) students in relatively poorer, multigrade classrooms have less OTL; (c) OTL, as defined earlier, is positively associated with achievement.

Keywords

achievement in mathematics cognitive demand curriculum coverage feedback opportunities to learn Peru 

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, Inc. 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Group for the Analysis of Development—GRADELimaPeru

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