Meanings of “Mastery” in Mathematics Education: Creation of Concourse for a Research Study
Operant Subjectivity , Volume 41 - Issue 1 p. 121- 133
This article outlines the rationale for and methodological choices made in designing an online Q study. Pre-service and experienced secondary mathematics teachers in the UK use the word “mastery” to describe a specific development programme, a curriculum or a set of teacher or student behaviours; these multiple meanings inspired a Q methodological study to identify types of views held by mathematics teachers. The article details the study’s design process, from generation of research question, through concourse and Q sample creation and pilot studies, to the final research design and Q sample. In the UK, changes to teacher practice are often quickly dismissed as fads and fashions, so greater use of Q to evaluate teachers’ views on educational initiatives would be a useful tool to uncover and explain that which is valued by teachers.