In two articles, we describe how we are meeting the ambitious Key Stage 1 objectives of the 2014 mathematics curriculum through mathematical writing. The 2013 curriculum requires learners ‘to move fluently between representations of mathematical ideas.’ Children now have to study all four arithmetic operations and fractions as operators for small numbers from Year 1.
Schools have experienced three major waves of computer technology over the last 30 years: micro-computers, networked electronic whiteboards and now an emerging wave of individual one-to-one iPads and Android tablets. In the past, the UK government has found it difficult to demonstrate value from technology in schools. Despite 80 per cent of schools being rated good or outstanding by Ofsted, the country’s performance in international league tables has declined. Is it possible to do better this time? Do business-led school networks have a role in promoting one-to-one learning? Will the Coalition’s less directive approach to technology procurement allow schools to experiment with different models for learning and teaching? And, if they do, how will Ofsted assess schools as they begin to embrace a new pedagogy of flipped classrooms, enquiry and project-based learning?
Sociality Mathematics CIC has published the early results of its work developing an approach to formative assessment in Year 7 based on Gattegno's early algebra. A short video can be viewed here. Although there are many reports of the Cuisenaire-Gattegno approach being trialled in primary school, Fortran is the first reported study to reproduce Gattegno's findings at secondary level. The study was part funded by the Sutton Trust. The result is a successful proof of concept and a step change in the understanding of teachers and learners.
Recent results in a paper by John Jerrim and Alvaro Choi suggest that, although average math test scores are higher in East Asian countries, this achievement gap does not increase between ages 10 and 16. They conclude that reforming the secondary school system may not be the most effective way for England to ‘catch up’ with the East Asian nations in the PISA math rankings. Rather earlier intervention, during pre-school and primary school, may be needed instead.
What can self-organising biological systems tell us about learning and teaching? A good deal, according to Enrico Coen, a plant geneticist. In ``Cells to Civilizations'' he presents a unified account of the emergence of living organisms, and highlights common principles of development across levels -- from evolution and cell development, to learning and human culture.