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Maths teaching

Discussion in 'Mathematics' started by charmedimsure, Mar 28, 2011.

  1. A friend of mine, who is a Senco, has just sent me this, thought forum members might like to see it. Of course we all know the problem with maths teaching is not just down to the teachers.

    England's teacher trainees 'do worse' in maths tests
    An international study for charity CfBT Education Trust found a big variation in the subject knowledge of England's trainee teachers.
    The report suggests raising the maths entry requirement for primary teachers. Currently to teach at primary level in England a GCSE grade C in maths or above is needed. But the report recommends increasing this, over time, to an AS level. And it calls for secondary maths teachers, who are currently expected to have an A-level in maths, to take specialised mathematics enhancement courses which concentrate on the mathematical and teaching skills needed to be an effective teacher.
    England's trainee teachers have less mathematical knowledge than their peers in some of our major economic competitors, the study says. Teacher trainees in Japan, China and Russia, easily outperformed those from England in simple mathematical tests.
    ?I don't think many of our trainee teachers have enough conceptual understanding? Professor David Burghes, the report author. The two-year study for the CfBT charity, carried out by researchers at the Centre for Innovation in Mathematics Teaching at Plymouth University, subjected 1,400 teachers to a series of mathematical tests.
    See the story on the BBC.
  2. I dont believe grades mean anything in terms of your suitability to teach, especially at primary level.
    A C grade in maths now is so laughable that to think someone has scraped that and then to be in charge of primary education would be a joke.
    An E grade from 20 years ago accompanied by a formal testing system (NOT the QTS skills test) may end up being far more suitable. It may not. Having a degree doesnt mean someone currently understands numeracy
    Looking at my C grade students now and thinking they could teach young kids is scary as it is with many of my AS pupils.
    IMO qualifications are not important much of the time.
    I firmly believe all candidates should be tested on their <u>current</u> knowledge and ability at the points
    (i) Prior to any interview given
    (ii) When the course starts
    (iii) At the end of each term
    (iv) FInal exam to pass QTS
    A 25 year old 2.2 Maths degree is not a reason to accept someone onto a training course. A thorough test on all aspects of numeracy should be carried out prior to hiring primary teachers.
    Many refresher courses will not meet this need
  3. No magic bullet solution.
    The pre-teacher training test was one method to tackle this, but it's just a minor elastoplast really.
    Another method would be to introduced an A-Bacc which might demand an AS in maths or Use of maths (it might also include a humanities AS and EPQ and some community service as well as at least two A2s or equivalent) and make this a requirement for teaching for those young enough to have had access to it.
    Or we could teach more conceptually.
    But nothing's going to fix this rapidly.
    In the short term, Mast is a really important intervention.
  4. We had a discussion on here a little while back about non-specialists teaching maths and I think elements of that debate enter here. I'm entirely in agreement with all that Betamale suggests.

    I think that increasing the entry requirement for PGCE courses in maths to 2ii is ludicrous and will prevent a lot of very able teachers from obtaining positions.
  5. LiamD

    LiamD Occasional commenter

    Dunno if this sort of thing is happening in other schools but all main-scale teachers at our place have been asked to declare their preferred second (and third) subjects as a matter of urgency. Timetable is to be reworked when Year 11s go on study leave. The reason for this is to fill the gaps caused by 3 staff members leaving at Easter. They are not being replaced because of funding cuts. This will lead to non-specialists teaching in three subject areas Maths, Science and ICT. I'm just praying the lass who teaches Child Development doesn't look for pastuured new!
  6. LiamD

    LiamD Occasional commenter

    Oops, butter fingers -should have typed pastures new [​IMG]

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