You may be aware of seemingly endless reports in recent years on the state of mathematics education in England. Marie Joubert says that at least 28 such reports have been published since the beginning of 2011. Now Marie is hoping to “‘draw on the wisdom of the mathematics education crowds’ to develop a shared understanding of what the emerging big messages from these reports are”.
You're reading: Posts Tagged: schools
According to a report by the University of London’s Institute of Education, the very best 10-year-old English students are as good at maths as their counterparts around the world, but have fallen behind by around two years by the time they reach their GCSEs.
Cue frothy-mouthed calls for more rigour and tougher exams, presumably since you can’t string people up for not being good at maths, even if it is the only language they understand. Cue also a great deal of “it’s all their fault” finger-pointing and insulting generalisations of the “of course, those Asians value study more highly” variety.
The BBC are reporting that plans to change key subjects, including mathematics, from the current GCSE assessment system to a new, tougher ‘English Baccalaureate Certificate’ and to have a single exam board for each subject are “to be abandoned”.
Further information: Planned switch from GCSEs to Baccalaureate in England ‘abandoned’ at BBC News.
Following on from the Maths Careers website’s ‘Mathematics of Planet Earth’ poster competition, I’m going on the assumptions that 1. everyone loves poster competitions, and 2. if they’re related somehow to a particular planet, that’s even better.
The Manchester branch of the British Science Association is running a competition to design a poster around a theoretical upcoming manned mission to Mars, describing some science that solves a problem the Mars lander might face. I think we should encourage people to enter mathematics-based posters (firmly wedging the M in STEM).
How much equipment would they need to carry, and how much would it weigh, and how much fuel would they therefore need? How does the addition of human cargo affect the landing trajectory? And what can the crew possibly use to keep themselves occupied on the long journey except some maths puzzles you’ve invented?
The competition is aimed at school years 7-9 (ages 11-14), and while it’s being run by the Manchester branch, nothing on the website says you have to be based in Manchester to enter.
You may remember that the Maths Careers website ran a poster competition on the theme Maths of Planet Earth. We reported on this back in November, and said:
The IMA’s Maths Careers campaign runs a yearly competition for posters illustrating applications of maths. Entry for the 2012/13 competition has opened, and it’s on the theme of the planet Earth, to join in with the Mathematics of Planet Earth year 2013. UK students between the ages of 11 and 19 are invited to submit posters about “A planet to discover”, “A planet supporting life”, “A planet organised by humans” or “A planet at risk“.
That post also reported that the deadline was the birthday of our very own Christian Perfect, no doubt as part of the world-wide Christiansmas celebrations. Now, in the afterglow of that momentous day, the winners have been announced.
View the winning posters: Maths Careers Poster Competition 2012 / 2013. Congratulations to all the winners!
The IMA’s Maths Careers campaign runs a yearly competition for posters illustrating applications of maths. Entry for the 2012/13 competition has opened, and it’s on the theme of the planet Earth, to join in with the Mathematics of Planet Earth year 2013. UK students between the ages of 11 and 19 are invited to submit posters about “A planet to discover“, “A planet supporting life“, “A planet organised by humans” or “A planet at risk“.
The deadline for submissions is my birthday, the 14th of January, and the winners from the three age categories will each receive “an Android tablet”.
Yesterday the Royal Statistical Society/Nuffield Foundation collaboration getstats celebrated its second birthday.
Those of us with long enough memories might recall that getstats, a 10-year statistical literacy campaign, was launched with great fanfare at 8:10pm on World Statistics Day, 20th October 2010 (20:10 20.10.2010). Then-President David Hand was quoted at the time saying
Numbers are everywhere in our lives, and statistics is about turning these numbers into useful information on which we can take action. People need to appreciate the power of statistics as it can be the key to the important choices we make in our lives.