Influences on performance in higher order thinking skills Comparison of schools participating in the mathematics A-lympiad
Dijk, E.R. van
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Dutch mathematics education has made a shift towards higher order thinking skills. As a way of assessing these skills, the mathematics A-lympiad was created. In the course of the years, some schools would consistently perform better on this contest than others. I interviewed teachers from both high performing and low performing schools in an attempt to determine the factors that influence the performance of the students in the mathematics A-lympiad. The main differences were found in the amount of instruction about the ideas and goals of the mathematics A-lympiad and the stimulation of creative ideas. In the process, some difficulties that teachers experienced with the mathematics A-lympiad came to light. This included the role aesthetics plays in grading the essays of the mathematics A-lympiad, and how to grade the essays in general. Most of these difficulties are explainable and known, though difficult to resolve.