Linking learning to a real life context was chosen as a focus for research due to children often struggling to identify the relevance of certain curricular areas and in turn the application of these into a ‘real life’ context. As outlined in the Curriculum for Excellence (2008) Principle’s for Curriculum Design children’s learning should be relevant. Dewey (2008) enhances this point by his emphasis on the use of ‘Experiential Learning’ in the classroom. Experiential learning as defined by Dewey (1915) is “learning by doing” and therefore learning should be related to real life experiences by being practical, vocational and should have opportunities for freethinking. It is essential that we provide experiences for children to recognise the importance of the skills we teach but also allow children to contextualise and apply these skills.
Alongside the research of Dewey, Kolb (1984) found that by providing opportunities for experience-based learning in the classroom: children began to flourish in their cognitive abilities.
The aim of this enquiry is to explore the effect on children’s engagement in Numeracy when learning is linked to a real life context.