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Improving Learning in Mathematics

Created on 04 December 2006 by ncetm_administrator
Updated on 30 October 2015 by ncetm_administrator

Improving learning in mathematics cover

Improving Learning in Mathematics was developed with teachers, trainers and managers by the (then) DfES Standards Unit and launched in 2005 as part of the  National Teaching and Learning Change Programme in the further education learning and skills sector. This programme was designed to transform teaching, training and learning in selected subjects by developing and supporting Subject Learning Coaches.

The resource was made available to schools from 2006 and the approaches have been adopted extensively across all phases. Although 'hard' copies are no longer available, the resource is available online - see the paragraph Where can I find the resource? below.

What's in the resource?
The multi-media resource Improving Learning in Mathematics (ILIM) builds on existing successful practice and explores approaches that encourage a more active way of learning through the use of group work, discussion and open questioning. Learners are encouraged to ‘have a go’, become more independent and reflective about their mathematics, to learn to think mathematically rather than simply learning rules and most importantly, to enjoy their mathematics.

You can find out more about these approaches and some of the background research to the project by downloading the book Improving learning in mathematics: challenges and strategies, written by Malcolm Swan as an introduction to the resource.

Where can I find the resource?
Most of the materials from the ILIM pack can be downloaded from National STEM Centre e-library

Related resources
Thinking Through Mathematics is a professional development package, designed as an online version of the Maths4Life resource. It takes you through a professional development programme, introducing you to the strategies and approaches that lie at the heart of the Thinking Through Mathematics resource. It was designed for anyone who teaches courses involving mathematics (including numeracy and Functional Mathematics) from Entry level through to Level 2 but has been widely used across other sectors.

CPD in Action: Mathematics is an online module for teachers of post-16 mathematics. To access the module you will need to be logged in to the NCETM portal.

Further resources which focus on the quality of teaching and learning in mathematics are available from the National STEM Centre e-library in their LSIS STEM collection



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27 July 2011 13:22
Have a look at Thinking Through Mathematics -

This professional Development programme was originally designed for teachers of Adult Numeracy working with learners from Entry Level through to Level 2.
However, it will also be useful to all teachers of Mathematics and numeracy who are working in schools with pupils at Key Stages 1, 2 and 3.

See https://www.ncetm.org.uk/online-cpd-modules/ttm/
By vivbrown
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27 July 2011 01:31
Excuse my ignorance, but Is there anything similar for Key Stages 1 & 2?
31 March 2011 12:46
I have just tried downloading the sofware that is linked to A5 'Interpreting distance-time graphs' from the National STEM centre e-library and it worked. There is a bit of 'scrolling down' ...... to get to the materials - see http://www.nationalstemcentre.org.uk/elibrary/collection/282/improving-learning-in-mathematics
By vivbrown
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28 February 2011 16:49
Does anyone know where you can stream the software direct from the internet? I'm particulalry interested in using the 'traffic' software to go with A5 'interpreting distance-time graphs with a computer'. Else I would have to get an IT technician to put the software on each individual computer which would take hours!
By emmamccrea
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10 October 2010 15:30
Sorry, there are no more hard copies of the resource available, but it can be downloaded from either of the links above in the paragraph "Where can I find the resource?"
By Jane_Imrie
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15 September 2010 18:39
Hi where has the link to get this resource for free gone? thanks
By beccabanks
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03 March 2010 14:55
amlf81, check out this link for the materials: http://tlp.excellencegateway.org.uk/teachingandlearning/downloads/index_lsis.html#
Click on maths icon, then the ILIM icon. CD Rom 6 contains the software. Some of the ILIM software can be accessed from the Dutch site: http://www.fi.uu.nl/wisweb/en/ [click on the word applets]. Hope this is of help.
By MarkH
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05 January 2010 16:42
hi there , i have heard that this is a great resource and went to use the 3d shape unit but it says that there is assosciated software with it. Have asked my department about this folder and no one seems to know anything about this Improving learning in Maths let alone the software. Can you point me in the direction of where i can get this. i have been on the Excellence gateway and it is not quite clear where the software could be.
By amlf81
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05 November 2009 08:34
Hi fhudson -
This resource is only available to order for those working in the maintained sector in England. However, as you say, it is available to download from the Excellence Gateway.
04 November 2009 20:40
Hi all, I'm a GTP trainee working in an independent school, I've heard a lot about how fantastic this resource is. Is there a way for us to obtain a copy other than downloading it? Thanks
By fhudson
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09 October 2007 16:21
Dear kerryschutz, If you contact Jane Annets who is Regional Coordinator in London she may be able to help. Her email is jane.annets@ncetm.org.uk.
By Tim_Coombs
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09 October 2007 11:59
Can NCETM recommend someone to delivery a CPD one day course on Learning & Teaching, based around the principles and suggested teaching methodologies in this publication?
By kerryschutz
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28 February 2007 23:09
It is really good to hear that many of you are finding this resource useful. It would be interesting to hear about your experiences with trying out particular sessions: What issues did you consider when planning the session? What went well?, were there issues that needed to be addressed in order to make the session work?, what was the reaction of the learners? what was actually learned in the session? Have you adapted parts of the session to suit your learners needs?......
By Francisbove
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21 February 2007 14:34
The resources themselves within the box, the approaches promoted together with the coaching programme are invaluable. They can be used extensively within the Skills for Life arena for both students and staff training and have been used to good effect within our busy FE college. We now have 6 Subject Learning Coaches and have formed a forum to disseminate the resources and practices across many vocational areas. I thoroughly recommend the SLC programme.
By julia_smith
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14 February 2007 14:41
It is an excellent starting place if you’re trying to develop your style of teaching from teacher centred to student centred. The resources help as you can try out some ready made ideas and reflect on the student learning. Once I became comfortable with the style of teaching I found myself developing new resources naturally that fitted my curriculum but kept the student centred approach.
By LisaMcNulty
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05 February 2007 20:02
If it hadn't been free I'd have bought the book(s)

An excellent resource that can be modifiied/improved/personalised (coz we do) or used as is.

After initial doubts have courage, give the learners time and be prepared to be amazed at their understanding. BUT it takes your courage to give them time and let them work things out.

Good for the ego to tell them the answers but better if they dicover them.
By Randall
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16 January 2007 14:16
This is an excellent resource - one of the best published resources I have ever seen & it's free!!! Although I have promoted it extensively in my area it is nowhere near as fully developed as I would like it to be. I am using the professional development units to run regular twilight sessions for maths teachers. The jigsaw software is in use in some schools. To my knowledge no-one has yet used the lessons which are provided but I am desperate to do so myself.

I think the whole thing requires a culture shift in teaching mathematics and it is happening slowly---- am I being too impatient???
By Bladders
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