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FAO IB teachers - Further Maths Standard Level

Discussion in 'Mathematics' started by Betamale, Apr 23, 2011.

  1. Hi
    Is anyone running this with pupils? which type of pupil (or at which age/stage) do you feel it caters for? Do you think there is a 'better' alternative for its target audience?
    Have you enjoyed teching it? Do the kids like it? Is it productive in your experience in terms of engaging and enhancing?
    Lot's of questions [​IMG]
  2. Karvol

    Karvol Occasional commenter

    Hmm... FM SL. A curate's egg if there ever was one.
    We "run" it. Well sort of.
    Approximately 100 kids a year take it in total. That is 100 around the world. It is the HL options with an extra bit added on. In terms of rigour I would place it below Maths HL. In terms of usefulness it is way behind Maths HL, SL and ST.
    I am not really sure what its purpose is. It is not enough to be a viable group 5 subject on its own. One can only really do it if one does Maths HL. Therefore it is immediately seen as a seventh subject. Which means it gets started with a degree of gusto and enthusiasm, and once the US or UK acceptances and offers are in, it is dropped like a stone.
    We have half a dozen or so kids start it, but it is rare that someone carries it through to its conclusion. Universities are not that interested in it, so it loses its appeal fairly rapidly. It contains no mechanics, there is plenty of pure in the HL syllabus anyway and the pure maths in the FM syllabus is not rigorous enough to be viable for a first year degree course, so it seems a bit pointless to me.
    Now Further Maths is about to metamorphosise into FM HL. Which, depending upon who you talk to, is either going to revitalise it or give it the kiss of death.
  3. Karvol

    Karvol Occasional commenter

    Do you teach the IB Betamale? I thought you taught A Level?
  4. Superb, thanks for the insight. I dont teach it (as you rightly say I do A level) but I would like to ensure I am up to date with everything that is being offered as I fancy an excape from the country soon and thought I may teach it at some point. [​IMG]
    I got a copy of the Cambridge Book (Dolan/Neill/Quadling) and it seems quite quirky and I couldnt place where it would fit as its certainly not challenging as the higher yet seems a big old book for a short course.
  5. I'm a little surprised, Karvol, that you bother to offer the course, given your bad experiences with kids starting FM.
    If I happened to be starting out again as a mathematically inclined teenager at an IB school which offered Maths HL with the stats option, I would have been very under-prepared to tackle a maths degree at a serious university. FM is not ideal, but it does at least provide a taster of university type mathematics. I am very puzzled by your comment: 'pure maths in the FM syllabus is not rigorous enough to be viable for a first year degree course, so it seems a bit pointless to me.' Looks OK to me.
    By the way, there never was much chance that mechanics would still be an option (it was once apparently, but it got chucked out) - remember that this is an international syllabus and for most of the world mechanics is regarded as a branch of physics.
  6. Karvol

    Karvol Occasional commenter

    To be honest we offered it last year, everybody dropped out, and are not offering it this year.
    As I said before, I am not sure what role it is meant to fill.
  7. Yes, FM has always been rather anomalous within the IB stable, and will remain so. For example, there is no coursework (called IA).
  8. David Getling

    David Getling Lead commenter

    Looks OK to me too, Polecat. I'm also pretty horrified that most HL students are forced to take the stats option, which I imagine is more a reflection of the teacher's preference than the students'.

    With offerings in number theory, group theory and graph theory (alright, decision maths does the last) I know of no other course that offers such a rich introduction to the type of maths that students will encounter at university. And let's not forget the geometry requirement, something that has all but vanished from all other courses.

    Coincidentally, I was just talking last night to the HOD maths of a good school that offers IB further maths, and he seemed enthusiastic about it.
  9. ian60

    ian60 New commenter

    I have not been teaching IB HL for that long (4 years, to quite small classes), so I was wondering, has anyone out there taught HL to a student who has then gone on to do a Maths degree at any university (serious or not)? Have they struggled?
    In my present cohort I have a student who has been accepted to Princeton to study Engineering (Can't remember which sort of engineering), he is a predicted 7. I have another student who wants to study Maths and Stats at Plymouth, she is predicted 5.
    Do you think either of them will suffer as a result of a lack of exposure to some of the stuff the options cover?
  10. Your engineering student aiming for Princeton would be helped by some more exposure to calculus and vectors/matrices than is offered in HL core. The other student, assuming she is doing the Stats option, will be well prepared for Maths and Stats at Plymouth.
    When I said ' ... tackle a maths degree at a ...', I was really referring to a straight maths degree.

  11. ian60

    ian60 New commenter

    Thanks for the response Polecat.

    So have any of you had students, wisely or unwisely, go on to do a 'straight maths' degree after HL maths.?
  12. Ian60, I suppose you could pose the same question on the OCC forum.

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