Issues in Teaching Numeracy in Primary Schools

Issues in Teaching Numeracy in Primary Schools

Issues in Teaching Numeracy in Primary Schools

Issues in Teaching Numeracy in Primary Schools


This timely book provides a detailed and comprehensive overview of the teaching and learning of numeracy in primary schools. It will be particularly helpful to teachers, mathematics co-ordinators and numeracy consultants involved in the implementation of the National Numeracy Strategy. It presents an accessible guide to current British and Dutch research into numeracy teaching. Leading researchers describe their findings and discuss implications for practising teachers. The projects include studies of effective teachers of numeracy, ICT and numeracy, an evaluation of international primary textbooks, assessment, using and applying mathematics and family numeracy. The book also includes chapters on pedagogy, focusing on the teaching of mental calculation, the transition from mental to written algorithms, the place of the empty number line and the use of the calculator as a teaching aid. Most chapters include practical suggestions for helping teachers develop aspects of their numeracy teaching skills.


This book is, to a certain extent, a sequel to Teaching and Learning Early Number (Open University Press 1997), which looked at research findings (mainly North American in origin) concerning children's early number acquisition and the implications of this research for classroom practice. This book also considers research, this time mainly English, dealing more generally with a range of issues relating to the teaching of numeracy in primary schools.

The book is loosely structured into five sections: historical overview, national projects, research projects, assessment issues and pedagogical issues. Chapters in all five sections discuss theory in relation to practice. However, the final section concentrates more heavily on this aspect, and makes suggestions for practising teachers to develop ideas for the teaching of specific aspects of numeracy. Most chapters contain cross-references to other parts of the book where particular ideas are dealt with in more detail. Each chapter, however, is self-contained, and is written to be read as a free-standing unit.

Some of the issues that currently confront us in England have already been addressed in other countries. For example, mathematics educators in the Netherlands have, over the years, carried out much ground-breaking curriculum development work on mental and written calculation and on 'realistic' mathematics and its assessment. The three chapters in this book that are written by colleagues from the Netherlands make an informed contribution to the debate in these areas, and also, if read as a discrete unit, provide an overview of mathematics education in what was the most successful European country in the Third International Mathematics and Science Study (TTMSS) of 9-year-olds' performance in mathematics.

The information in the table below gives details of the ages of children starting school in England and in the Netherlands. Two systems are running currently in Holland, and the newer 'Groep' nomenclature is gradually replacing the older Grade system. The information is included to help readers check the ages of children referred to by the contributors to this book.

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