Magazine article Mathematics Teaching

14-19 Education and Skills

Magazine article Mathematics Teaching

14-19 Education and Skills

Article excerpt

Introduction and executive summary

We welcome this White Paper as another initiative that underlines the importance that the government attaches to mathematics. We are delighted that the White Paper designates mathematics as a core subject for this important group of students.

We fully support the continued commitment to the on-going implementation of the Smith report and in particular, the establishment of a new National Centre of Excellence in Mathematics Teaching. We look forward to the enrichment, support and training available to teachers of mathematics that will ensue.

The White Paper seeks the views of all involved with the education of this group of students. On behalf of the professional bodies that represent the teachers of this group we wish to comment on some of the important issues that are raised in the paper.

In particular we wish to raise the following concerns:

* functional mathematics - whilst supporting the emerging definition of this concept as a means of helping young people become 'mathematically literate' rather than a focus on a minimal set of skills, it is still unclear how 'functional mathematics' can be separated from mathematics as a whole;

* providing greater stretch and challenge - the mathematical community is united in the view that the best way to stimulate and stretch young mathematicians is through enrichment, enabling them to develop a deeper understanding of basic mathematics, before they progress to more advanced ideas. …

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