Meaningful Learning in Mathematics: A Research Synthesis of Teaching Approaches
Rauno Koskinen 1 * , Harri Pitkäniemi 2
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1 Department of Education, University of Helsinki, FINLAND2 School of Applied Education and Teacher Education, University of Eastern Finland, FINLAND* Corresponding Author


The premise on which our synthesis is based is the fragmentation of research focused on teaching and learning in mathematics. Our intention is to build an aggregate synthesis from these sources in the context of school education and meaningful learning. Our research targets the links between the different approaches used in teaching, interaction during the teaching-learning process and learning outcomes. Methodologically, our dataset consists of qualitative, quantitative, and mixed-methods studies and meta-analyses. An EBSCO search produced 69 analysis-eligible publications from 2007-2019. According to our findings, the use of contextual, concrete and social approaches promotes meaningful learning in mathematics, although with certain refinements. The analyses revealed that high-quality learning in mathematics requires guidance during student activities and evaluation with immediate feedback during the teaching-learning process. It also requires the skill among teachers to choose suitable contexts and learning tools, and to focus the students’ communication on what is relevant. Additional significant factors in a meaningful learning process include an affectively favourable classroom atmosphere and teachers who treat their students as individuals.


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Article Type: Research Article

INT ELECT J MATH ED, 2022, Volume 17, Issue 2, Article No: em0679

Publication date: 09 Feb 2022

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