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Gove Levels

Discussion in 'Mathematics' started by adamcreen, Sep 16, 2012.

  1. adamcreen

    adamcreen Occasional commenter

  2. Come on, Adam. Time to come down off that fence and say whether you agree with Gove or not! Seriously, a very enjoyable read. Living in Wales I now have to look forward to Leighton Andrew's spin on all this.
  3. lancsHOD

    lancsHOD New commenter

    It's great to see that the Daily Mail have no idea about the real situation at the moment, excellent reporting by the Daily Mail!
  4. googolplex

    googolplex Occasional commenter

    No wish to support the Daily Mail (ever) over Mr Creen, but I would say that any move to introduce more algebraic rigour at the top end is welcome, and if that means A-level students struggle with a bit of stats, that's a price well worth paying. Secondly, one exam board is an excellent move - should have happened years ago. I do believe our current multi-board, multi-exam type system, whilst not 'driving down standards', has not helped standards improve...
  5. adamcreen

    adamcreen Occasional commenter

    I worry that you misunderstand my Stats point. Yesterday I was working with a student starting Natural Sciences at Cambridge next month. She did iGCSE in 2010 and did not do S1 or S2 as part of her Further Maths A Level. She had done so little stats at iGCSE that she needed everything explaining from scratch.

    If the new qualification has more algebra questions, it will have less data handling, as this is the current trend, and also true for overseas curricula. So students will need more time to catch up data topics that they are currently learning on the GCSE. This is a retrograde step, given the poor level of statistical literacy amongst students and politicians alike.

    There is plenty of algebraic rigour at the top end. How much harder do you want solving equations with algebraic fractions to be?!
  6. googolplex

    googolplex Occasional commenter

    Adam, I don't misunderstand your point at all and I do appreciate your article and found your blog very interesting - I shall return given some free time... IMO there is insufficient algebra in these exams and this leads to students being hoodwinked into thinking they'll cope at A-level (with current grade Bs and the like). If university students need a bit of a catch-up session, I'd sooner it was in stats than algebra. I don't remember doing much stats at all in my A-level or O level and it never held me back... You obviously rate stats work more highly than me. Simple difference in personal preference regarding any future syllabus.
  7. You probably went on to do a maths degree. A lack of stats would hold back students who go on to most science / social science / computer science / Economics / Accountency degrees. It is arguably more important now than when you did your O-levels due to the amount of data processing that computers allow.

    However, I do agree that there is a lack of algebraic rigour in the GCSE exams, and it is a problem in the transition to A level, as you say. This doesn't prevent you teaching it in lessons to give your students an advantage when they move into 6th form.
  8. Maths paper that covers algebra, geometry and number. Separate Statistics qualification that covers data handling.
  9. There is algebraic rigour in the GCSE course - just not enough of it is assessed to that studentscan 'get away with' not knowing big chunks of it and there is a reasonable chance it won't impactupon their grade.
    The move from 3 tier to 2 tier has made this issue worst.
    What i can't see is how a move to a 1 tier exam will improve this.
  10. Personally, I seem to recall a year agao there being some debate in Government - leaked in a few places - about whether Stats should be taught in other subjects like Geography. Taking your argument further also ignores the very real speculation that Maths was to become a dual examination like English Lang./English Lit.
    You are over-reacting without any details.
    By the way, according to JCQ statistics, 5.5% gained an A* this year, which is closer to 1 in 18 than 1 in 10...

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