From the editor - Better mathematics
I can still remember the Christmas holidays – can you? It was so very cold that I did spend some time catching up on some reading. During term time, I fall asleep as soon as my head hits the pillow so I need to indulge in a good thriller but in the holidays I started on some magazines. On the top of my pile was the magazine, Better: Evidence-based Education, which is produced by the Institute for Effective Education at the University of York. The Institute was established by a grant from the Bowland Trust to advance evidence-based practice. While this did not help me catch up on the love lives of the celebs or suggest any warming winter recipes, the autumn 2009 issue focuses on teaching and learning mathematics, so I was keen to have a look.
The issue includes the following articles:
What works in teaching mathematics by Robert Slavin
The importance of the early years by Douglas Clements and Julie Sarama
Building mathematics skills by Chris Kyriacou
Which teaching methods are most effective for maths? by James Hiebert and Douglas Grouws
Understanding maths learning by Celia Hoyles
Depth of knowledge by Norman Lott Webb
Supporting sense making: Thinking mathematically by Megan Franke
Mathematics matters by Jonathan Haslam
Bowland maths: turning theory into practice by Quentin Thompson
The autumn mathematics edition of the magazine is available online, and you can also sign up for future issues.
And what do I get from reading educational magazines like this?
I think this is a vital part of my own professional development – it’s an aspect over which I have some control, I can read whenever I have the time and reflect at leisure! In the introduction to the magazine it states that it is “intended to give educators access to research” – so if this magazine plays a part in making the links between mathematics education research and practice it is something that I want to look at.
Reading through this magazine has prompted me to dig out that Bowland CD to think about using some of those materials and also to re-visit the material from Celia Hoyles about proof. But there are also things that I have read that I know I have put away somewhere in my mind which I have almost forgotten about – at some point something will link with a piece of new knowledge or a new experience and as a result make more sense to me and have a bigger impact on my ongoing development and hence my professional practice. I’ll let you know when that happens! In the meantime, why not tell us about your holiday reading or professional development?