Tests and Contests

  • Fiona Walls


This chapter examines the use of speed and competition in the children’s mathematics classrooms. It reconstructs four classroom scenes to describe the devices teachers used including quick-fire questions, formal timed pencil-and-paper tests, children’s timed performances in front of the class and games where speed of answering produced winners and losers. The chapter uses archival material to show that speed and competition in mathematical learning are endorsed by syllabus materials and teaching resources, and demonstrates that the practices of the classroom are replicated in the home. The chapter demonstrates how the children were made within these discursive practices as performers and contestants. The children’s subjectivities were shaped around these subject positions as they were produced as winners or losers.


Mathematics Education Basic Fact Mathematics Classroom Speed Test Time Table 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.James Cook UniversityTownsvilleAustralia

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