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Secondary Magazine - Issue 131

Created on 26 February 2016 by ncetm_administrator
Updated on 16 March 2016 by ncetm_administrator


Secondary Magazine Issue 131'trump in close-up' by Jamelle Bouie (adapted), some rights reserved

Welcome to Issue 131 of the Secondary and FE Magazine

We all have to face the “why do we need to know this?” question from time to time, but if it is posed in a statistics or data handling lesson, there is, certainly for the next few months, a very strong and robust response: because at the moment data, information and statistics are being quoted, analysed, manipulated and misused in and by politicians and the media, to an extent that feels unprecedented. The EU referendum, the US presidential race, the conflict in the Middle East: the debate in these and so many other areas is thick with statistical claims and counterclaims, and everyone needs the knowledge and the tools to make headway through the data haze, to get closer to the truth that almost certainly isn’t what we are reading or hearing. As Maths teachers we have the opportunity to help our pupils, and through them their families, hear the sense despite the noise: indeed, it could be argued that we have a duty to do so. Let us know what you think, by email to info@ncetm.org.uk or on Twitter @NCETM. If, over the coming weeks, you have any examples of successfully helping your pupils understand the complexity behind the soundbite, please do share them with us.


Heads Up
Here you will find a checklist of some of the recent, or still current, mathematical events featured in the news, by the media or on the internet: if you want a “heads up” on what to read, watch or do in the next couple of weeks or so, it’s here. If you ever think that our heads haven’t been up high enough and we seem to have missed something that’s coming soon, do let us know: email info@ncetm.org.uk, or via Twitter, @NCETM.

Building Bridges
A number of conceptually challenging ideas that pupils meet in KS3 rely directly, though not always obviously, on their understanding of KS2 arithmetic. In this issue, we explore what these foundations are, and how we can try to ensure their strength and solidity.

Sixth Sense
Calculator use with GCSE re-sit students in FE colleges: given the pressure in re-sit classes, is it worth giving time to exploring and developing calculator skills? Yes, definitely, we argue.

From the Library
An introduction to “Realistic Maths Education”, which was developed in the Netherlands, in part in response to the “why do we need to know this?” question.

It Stands to Reason
We consider John Mason’s imaginative less-same-more grids, and explore in depth one example to show how rich and deep challenge can arise from the simplest of contexts.

Eyes Down
A picture to give you an idea: there can be too much of a good thing.

Image credit
Page header by Jamelle Boule (adapted), some rights reserved



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