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Mathematics Matters

This page has been archived. The content was correct at the time of original publication, but is no longer updated.
Created on 18 June 2007 by ncetm_administrator
Updated on 04 November 2008 by ncetm_administrator
NCETM Mathematics Matters Project

Teachers' Voices are a priority in this project.

What has happened so far

The NCETM Mathematics Matters Project is about finding out what constitutes effective mathematics teaching.  Find out more about the background to the project.

Read an overview of the six stages of the NCETM Mathematics Matters Project:

Stage 1 - Initiating
A major national conference was held on 23rd May 2007

Stage 2 - Inferring
Six regional colloquia, you can access the presentations here.

Stage 3 - Engaging
Find out what will happen next

Stage 4, 5, 6 - Developing, Embedding & Evaluation


Discover the 'Mathematics Matter' Project Forum


Executive Summary - Click here to download the Mathematics Matters Executive Summary PDF.










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05 November 2008 13:18
Mathematics Matters is worth reading. There are 57 case studies to inspire you to be creative and adventurous in your teaching.
By lindatetlow
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07 May 2008 12:29
It is 25 Years since The Cockcroft report defined the elements of successful teaching and learning in mathematics. What would it be like if these elements were reversed? :-

No modelling and demonstration by the teacher;
No discussion between teacher and pupils and between pupils themselves;
No practical work;
No consolidation and practice of fundamental skills and routines;
No problem solving, including the application of mathematics to everyday situations;
No investigational work


By katebaum
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22 November 2007 15:46
Sian - thank you for taking the time to read the interim report. I'd like to reassure you that the project aims for exactly the opposite of maths educators saying 'what they think teachers do'. We are gathering together the views of everyone in the field and, most importantly, teachers. Any published messages will be consensus views from across all these people. They are definitely NOT criticisms of the teaching workforce, but aim to give teachers an equal voice alongside other stakeholders, in agreeing what we mean by effective learning and exploring together any obstacles, perceived and real, to making this happen, as well as identifying how we might support teachers more in making learning happen in their classrooms.

What you describe is exactly what teachers (as well as Ofsted and others) are telling us contributes to effective learning, yet why do so many feel constrained by the beliefs that they 'must do a 3 part lesson', 'have to include a Powerpoint in every lesson', and similar comments?

What is coming out of our meetings with teachers is a huge bank of evidence that will contribute to the final product. This will not just be a report, but will also give many examples, direct from teachers, of what has promoted effective learning in their classrooms. We hope these will provide a useful resource in itself, but the evidence that we collect, which includes the issues and obstacles as identified by teachers and others, will also support us in working with policy makers and maths educators, not only to support teachers, but also to find ways forward which enable us to teach mathematics in ways we know are effective.

Your views will certainly be included in our work - and your comment about the tone of the final report is helpful too. Our intention was, and is, to make it as inclusive as possible, though clearly we're not quite there yet. If you were able to join us for one of the remaining meetings, that would be excellent. If not, we are this week putting an update of the project on the site, with opportunities to contribute more ideas and evidence. Alternatively, please do contact me (jane.imrie@ncetm.org.uk) if you would like more information.

By Jane_Imrie
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22 November 2007 09:05
I've read most of the paper and feel again as if I am under the microscope of the maths educators. I usually feel let down by many maths education professionals when I read about what they say maths teachers do...teaching to the test, relying too much on textbooks , should do this, should not do that..., and so on, as if we are a breed in a parallel universe. Please contributors, understand that we are set targets to meet on KS3, GCSE and A/AS level results for professional development purposes.

We are not going to send pupils into exams unprepared as these qualifications are much more important than they were 20 years ago. Why should we disadvantage our pupils when they are competing against pupils from up the road who have been better prepared by their teachers?

Teachers are overworked and tired, we use up an incredible amount of nervous energy each day at school, we are under pressure to produce pupil reports with sublevels for each Ma, we deal daily with confrontation, with argumentative and disruptive pupils. We are doing our best. Please talk as if you are really part of this community, help us to absorb things like targets into our teaching or stand up properly and fight against them, or carry out some research into the effects of so much testing on pupils (and teachers?).

Please also read the Ofsted reports describing 'excellent' maths teaching from the old type school reports and talk to inspectors. Ofsted talk of looking for 'learning gains' when observing lessons, they are not necessarily looking for a 3 part lesson, certainly in my experience of being graded 'excellent'.

Please state facts in the report rather than personal opinion.

I'm sorry to sound so frustrated but that is how the paper made me feel, perhaps you could ask yourselves why that might be the case?

Maths teachers work in a much bigger world than the one that requires them only to teach maths.

14 September 2007 11:24
In the Maths Café on this site, a contribution by gfmoore entitled "Why is maths compulsory?" makes a case that mathematics doesn't matter (for a successful life). The case is not very strongly countered in the subsequent comments.

Perhaps this Project should begin by stating clearly why mathematics matters.
By Trevor
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