From the Director

Maths associations and why it’s good to be a member

Why you should join a maths education professional association


Maths associations and why it’s good to be a member

This year (Easter 2024 – Easter 2025), I am privileged to be President of the Mathematical Association. It’s an exciting and challenging time to be involved in maths education. Exciting because the value of maths education is recognised by government and employers more than ever before; challenging because many in our society have negative attitudes to maths and maths education and there is a chronic shortage of secondary maths teachers. And it’s both challenging and exciting because of the increasing potential of technology to impact on every aspect of our lives, including maths education.

I have been a member of a maths education professional organisation since the start of my teaching career in 1990, and I’d advise every teacher of maths to join one.

Being a member of one of these associations has been useful to me throughout my career in maths education:

  • It has enabled me to feel part of a community of committed maths education professionals, which has developed and reinforced my identity as an expert maths educator
  • Having access to journals with high-quality articles has deepened and broadened my subject and pedagogical knowledge for maths teaching
  • News articles and editorials have helped to keep me up-to-date with what’s going on in maths education
  • Even as a newly-qualified teacher, I was able to take part in responding to maths teaching association consultations and so feel my voice was contributing to national debate on issues affecting maths education
  • Attendance at professional association conferences enabled me to meet fellow maths education professionals from across the country, and enabled me to take part in sessions with leading maths educators.

There are three mathematics education professional associations for school/college mathematics teachers:

one for mathematics teacher educators:

and one for mathematics education advisers:

To see which one is right for you, look at their websites, and ask colleagues who may already be members.

Moves are currently underway to merge these five organisations into one overarching professional association for maths educators, the ‘Association for Mathematics in Education’ (AMiE).

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My personal involvement with maths teaching professional associations has mainly been as a member of the Mathematical Association. I joined the MA in 1990, on the recommendation of my PGCE tutor, and have been a member ever since. At different times I’ve also been a member of ATM and NAMA. Several of my NCETM and MEI colleagues are also members of more than one of the organisations.

I became active in the MA quite early in my teaching career, joining the Teaching Committee after just a few years of teaching. Over the subsequent years, I eventually became Chair of the Teaching Committee and a member of the MA Council. These experiences widened and deepened my perspective on maths education and were an important preparation for my later work with MEI and the NCETM.

If you are a maths educator and are not currently a member of a maths education professional association, I strongly recommend you join one. Your membership will support career-long development as an expert maths educator, and strengthen your identity as a member of a vital profession. It will also give you the opportunity to have a voice in how maths education develops to meet the challenges we face to provide excellent maths education for our young people, now and in the future.