Empowering Engagement pp 117-143 | Cite as

# “Opportunity to Aspire”: Promoting Mathematics Engagement and Aspiration for Challenging Mathematics

## Abstract

In many OECD countries, including Australia, attention is required to examine and solve the problem of low levels of engagement in, and aspiration for, advanced mathematics among students coming from economically disadvantaged backgrounds. Not only are students from disadvantaged backgrounds in Australia overrepresented among those who fail to meet the benchmark in national and international tests of school mathematics; they are also underrepresented in mathematics-related degree programs at the university level. Few from disadvantaged groups have shown sustained aspirations for learning mathematics. It is, therefore, important to understand what motivates and sustains disadvantaged students’ aspirations and engagement in mathematics. In this chapter, classroom observations and interview data derived from a longitudinal study will be used to discuss the extent to which disadvantaged students’ aspiration is being promoted in their math classes. Based on the results, this chapter discusses classroom practices that are crucial for offering students the opportunity to aspire for deep learning in mathematics.

## Keywords

Mathematics learning Mathematics aspiration Mathematics motivation Subject choice Learning intention Future goals Disadvantaged student## References

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