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Urgent action is needed over maths, say experts, as survey reveals image problem

Discussion in 'Education news' started by TES_Rosaline, Mar 21, 2016.

  1. TES_Rosaline

    TES_Rosaline Administrator Staff Member

  2. Shedman

    Shedman Star commenter

    How about making maths more relevant? I have never had to solve a quadratic equation in my a adult life but working out the amount of interest I pay on a loan per week, that would have been helpful.
    bobdrivesahgv likes this.
  3. bobdrivesahgv

    bobdrivesahgv New commenter

    I quite like the questions asked in the AQA methods and applications GCSE papers.
    Quite liked the AQA Use of Maths A level and like the new core maths, too.
  4. delnon

    delnon Lead commenter

    The logical thought processes required for maths are quite handy when it comes to German, too.
  5. drek

    drek Star commenter

    the whole idea of budgeting and banking and different types of accounts and interest rates is already taught via sessions in PSHCE/life skills.

    Maths should not be made easy and flashy to improve its 'image'

    Maths is a discipline, the very bright but very lazy get turned off because they don't like the thought that to to do well at anything one has to work at it.

    Why not praise the hardworking ethics of those who master it. If you want to improve the 'image' of subjects that require hard work and practise, make those two things cool again!

    A skilled footballer stays on peak form thanks to hard work and practise. Why not advertise this aspect more rather than the flashy cars, ridiculously oversized doll houses and beautiful trophy wives they acquire?

    Then the skill of doing maths to a deeper level, might be on par with other flashier pursuits!
  6. hammie

    hammie Lead commenter

    image? Maths has always had a gray image in the UK. Not so much in some European nations. Wrapping it in an expensive advertising campaign won't change that.
    Perhaps we should stop thinking that more and more hours and years of making people do Maths will make them enjoy it more or make them find it easier.
    The sixth form syllabus that i taught about 20 years ago attemted t to make it relevant by starting with "money management" not sure why pupils had to wait to be 17 before they were allowed relevant Maths?
    guinnesspuss and delnon like this.
  7. delnon

    delnon Lead commenter

    Perhaps so that they wouldn't cotton on to the shabby tricks of legalised loan sharks?
  8. install

    install Star commenter

    HI - as a Maths teacher I have to say that maybe students are just tired of being overtested and want to try something else....that they didn't have to do at Primary, then Secondary, then again at 17 if they failed....
    guinnesspuss likes this.
  9. wilkieway

    wilkieway New commenter

    In trying to make maths meaningful I think we have made maths boring. A lot of mathematics is "unreal" especially at the higher levels - the quality of a maths task should not be judged on its relationship to real life but in relation to how it engages students to think about and do the mathematics featured in the task, Engage students mathematical imaginations - escape from reality - oh and don't try to assess imagination!
    guinnesspuss and install like this.
  10. pixiewixiepixie

    pixiewixiepixie Occasional commenter

    The only 'action' needed is to reduce the horrendous workload of maths teachers (and all subjects). Most full time teachers rarely have the time to plan new and exciting lessons that inspire. They are too busy marching students towards targets, collecting data, creating intervention plans, having meetings, endless marking, responding to feedback etc. The love in the job has largely been lost.

    Reduce the crud and workload and standards will rise.
  11. phlogiston

    phlogiston Star commenter

    Like many subjects, maths is loved by some and hated by others. Most people recognise that elements of maths are important.
    Maths is one two subjects under huge pressure in schools. Drop two percent in GCSE and the end of the world is nigh. In the schools I know best, maths teachers and English teachers seem to have even less joi due vivre than other teachers and a much higher turnover rate. My daughter seemed to have a number of brief encounters with maths teachers in key stage 3. The teaching of maths is taken very seriously and perhaps the fun has receded.
    Have there been any enquiries into the level of maths education needed for our economy as it ought to be? On the one hand we have a Government piling more and more compulsory maths into the curriculum, on the other hand a lot people questioning the need for some of the harder bits. I do not know the answer, but I don't think GCSE for all is necessarily the answer.

    Have people noted the original report related to Scotland?

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