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Challenges in Maths teaching

Discussion in 'Mathematics' started by nomita, Jun 7, 2011.

  1. HI
    What are the challenges in teaching Mathematics?How can you overcome them
    Has anyone experienced an interview in Brunel University? Can anyone give my any tips are an idea of what it is like?
    What are the major challenges for a teacher nowadays?How can you overcome them?
    Many thanks
    Best regards
    N
     
  2. Hi
    In the thread "question bank for PGCE Interview" in Prospective student teachers Many people have referred to Trillions Q&A document. I really can't find it and I have an interview in two days time. It will be kind of you if anyone of you could email me at nomita273@hotmail.com
    Mnay thanks
    Best regards
    Nomita
     
  3. Hi
    May I ask What is a 3 tier system? What is two tier system (Is it Foundation and Higher Maths)
    Cheers
    Nomita
     
  4. I am trying to put the points as I am new to this....Please if you could help me with more......
    Please feel free to correct me.
    What are academic challenges in Maths? abstract nature, knowledge of literacy, Functional skills, motivation. I couldn't follow the thread about GCSE papers? Why they are said to be unfair and could you please tell me what is 3 tier and 2 tier system
    What are social challenges in Maths? differentiation on the basis of ability
    What are political challenges in Maths? Different schools opting for different boards.... May I know ththe importance of different exam board
    What are biological challenges in Maths?--- Cant think of any ??
    I am learning. So please help me. Many thanks in advance...
    Nomita
     
  5. strawbs

    strawbs Occasional commenter

    biological - gender differences in way boys/girls learn/approach Maths
    political - gov ideal that "every pupil will get a C" against our realism of knowing this wouldn't be true even if the entire exam consisted of "2+2=..."
    2 tier is Higher/Foundation - Higher covers A*-D, Foundation C-G. 3 tier was Higher/Intermediate/Foundation - Higher was A&-C; Inter B-E and Found D-G. Changed about 5years ago.
    Google "GCSE Maths system" or similar for background info as this seems to be an area you need to gen up on - eg http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/General_Certificate_of_Secondary_Education
     
  6. Hi Nomita and welcome to the forum. I'll do my best to answer some of your questions.


    Tiers

    All subjects now have two tiers, 'Higher' (A* to D grades) and 'Foundation' (C to G grades). Previously mathematics had three tiers 'Higher' (A* to C), 'Intermediate' (B to E) and 'Foundation' (D to G). When the move was made to the two tier system there was less room on the exam papers to examine all of the different grades and as such, many feel the exams don't stretch the brighter pupils and at the same time can be too difficult for the less able.


    Academic challenges

    Maths can be quite abstract in parts and this is something pupils can have a great deal of difficulty with. I would say one of the major challenges for maths is how it is a knowledge based subject that also requires skills. Many other subjects have moved away from pupils needing to know many facts and they get examined on how well they can apply their skills.


    Differentiation

    Maths is usually taught in sets right from Year 7 and as such differentiation tends to be by task rather than by outcome. It's hard to set solving a quadratic equation to a mixed ability group and then differentiate by how far they get: many won't even be able to start it.


    Exam boards

    The KS4 program of study was set by government (QCDA, I think) and the exam boards have interpreted that and had their exams signed off by OFQUAL (government quango). Some people feel OFQUAL have been acquiescent in colluding with the exam boards to allow them to only loosely interpret the KS4 program of study.


    Independent Schools and some free schools are no longer doing GCSE maths and have opted for iGCSE instead. This exam contains more topics but the level of language is generally thought to be easier. This exam does not comply with the KS4 program of study.


    Maybe some of the regulars on here will correct me on some of the above but I hope that at least that gets you started nomita.
     
  7. One of the challenges is that of pupils expecting teachers to do all the work for them instead of thinking for themselves and putting in the effort required.
    Does that ring any bells?
     
  8. Hi
    First of all Many thanks to all of you who have helped me with these facts.
    Academic challenges
    Maths can be quite abstract in parts and this is something pupils can have a great deal of difficulty with. I would say one of the major challenges for maths is how it is a knowledge based subject that also requires skills. Many other subjects have moved away from pupils needing to know many facts and they get examined on how well they can apply their skills.

    Please forgive me because I don't get this part: Many other subjects have moved away from pupils needing to know many facts and they get examined on how well they can apply their skills...... What do you mean here Can you please elaborate???

    Again Many thanks
    Nomita

     
  9. googolplex

    googolplex Occasional commenter

    When I learned history at school (O-level), I had to learn endless dates, things that happened on these dates, pages and pages of quotations. My exam was to regurgitate these facts answering various questions. Having just helped my son with his history GCSE, the emphasis has changed - he no longer needs to learn loads of facts by rote. He needs to know the general 'story' and then use given sources to tease out detailed inferences in what actually went on. He is applying skills, not just churning out facts. Apologies to any history teachers reading this drivel...
    Same is true in maths - when I did O level, we had to prove, for example, that opposite angles in a cyclic quadrilateral were supplementary. Nowadays, we don't require kids to be able to prove this, but we like them to be able to use this sort of thing in solving more complex problems (except that the problems I solved at O level were far more complex than they do today at GCSE, but then that's another thread...).
     
  10. Many thanks
    Forgive me if I am wrong.
    But can't we do both. Doesn't that feel good to be able to prove that the opposite angles in cyclic quadilateral are supplementary? We are applying our mind when we are proving that.... and we are thinking how to prove that? Isn't that also not a good excercise for development of mind or part of development or a learning excercise...While porving this we are applying some other skills that we have learnt.....
    Also don't we feel better when we learn something by proving it and not just accepting it/taking it for granted as a fact...It could be reinventing the wheel but isn't it part and parcel for our own learning and development...
    Many thanks
    Nomita
     
  11. googolplex

    googolplex Occasional commenter

    Makes sense to me....[​IMG]
     
  12. Some good responses
    Subtle....I dont think it was picked up or acted upon [​IMG]
    For the OP....I think being a little more proactive may help you. We can give out personal experiences and some things happening but I believe you need to have a good read of landmarks in education, current trends and potential future happenings.
    It seems you are looking for us to answer your interview questions and IMO they are looking for proactive people who have know the playing field a little more.
    MEI is a good source of info, the old government site was god for issues in education...maybe look at things like the Wolf report, ECM, the Rose reoprt etc etc to have some insight into past, current and potential future issues.
    Knowing these may give your interview more dimension than simply what we have told you (as valuable as much of it is) as its often very subjective and specific.
     
  13. PaulDG

    PaulDG Occasional commenter

    Well in theory we do. Circle theorem proofs were still in this year's GCSE for some boards. I understand they've gone from next year's specs though.
     
  14. Thanks I have done some and will be doing more. But Many many thanks for all your inputs. They were great. I really appreciate that. It is good yo know the teachers viewpoints who are already in the profession and obviously would be knowing lot more.Theres is no doubt about it. How much I try to explore it might not match you guys who are in this profession for so many years. Practical experience is knowledge is one thing and theoritical is another....
    Cheers
    Nomita
     
  15. I just wanted to thank you everbody who tried to help me here
    Many many thanks
    Cheers
    Nomita
     
  16. DM

    DM New commenter

    How was your interview Nomita?
     

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