Didactics of Mathematics problems in middle-school due to the covid-19 promotion exceptions in Spain
Lidon Moliner1*, Francisco Alegre2, Gil Lorenzo-Valentin3
1Dr. Lidon Moliner, Universitat Jaume I, SPAIN, email@example.com
2Dr. Francisco Alegre, Universitat Jaume I, SPAIN, firstname.lastname@example.org
3Dr. Gil Lorenzo-Valentin, Universitat Jaume I, SPAIN, email@example.com
During the third trimester of the 2019-2020 school year all educational centers remained closed due to the covid-19 pandemic. Spain went through an intensive lockdown from March until May and students’ in-person attendance was forbidden for safety reason. Given this situation, the Spanish Ministry decided to change the grade promotions criteria, making them less restrictive and easier for students to promote. The general criteria of two or less failed subjects to promote was exceptionally modified so that students with up to five failed subjects promoted. This change produced a significant alteration in students’ promotion, giving students with low knowledge in mathematics, technology and physics the opportunity to promote. In this research, three mathematics teachers and three students who promoted from 8th to 9th grade with four or five failed subjects from 8th grade including mathematics participated in the study. Qualitative research was carried out through semi-structured interviews. The results suggest that the promotion exceptions for the 2019-2020 school year had not been beneficial for them as they were struggling academically. Both, students and teachers thought their mathematics knowledge gap was too wide to succeed academically in the present school year. Moreover, students’ showed a significant lack of motivation and shared the idea that probably they were all going to repeat. Teachers’ daily routine was also altered as they had to explain previous content to them that they should already know. The main conclusion is that promotion criteria should not have been altered and that the already existing exceptional criteria of a maximum three failed subjects to promote should have been applied.
Keywords: didactics of mathematics, covid-19, exceptional promotion, lockdown, Spain
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