Presentation on theme: "Problem? What Problem? Michael Grove (Maths, Stats & OR Network)"— Presentation transcript:
Problem? What Problem? Michael Grove (Maths, Stats & OR Network) M.J.Grove@bham.ac.uk
The current perspective… …it has been widely recognised that mathematics occupies a rather special position. It is a major intellectual discipline in its own right, as well as providing the underpinning language for the rest of science and engineering and, increasingly, for other disciplines in the social and medical sciences. It underpins major sectors of modern business and industry, in particular, financial services and ICT. It also provides the individual citizen with empowering skills for the conduct of private and social life and with key skills required at virtually all levels of employment. Professor Adrian Smith (Making Mathematics Count, 2004)
But… The Inquiry [into Post-14 mathematics education] has therefore found it deeply disturbing that so many important stakeholders believe there to be a crisis in the learning and teaching of mathematics in England… Professor Adrian Smith (Making Mathematics Count, 2004)
Three areas for concern… 1.The current curriculum & qualifications framework fails to meet the needs & requirements of learners, Higher Education and employers. 2.A shortage of specialist mathematics teachers within schools. 3.A lack of a support infrastructure to provide CPD and resources in support of excellence in the teaching of mathematics.
But what is the effect upon HE? A steady decline over the past 15 years of fluency in basic mathematical skills and of the level of mathematical preparedness of students accepted onto degree course programmes. An increasing inhomogeneity in the mathematical attainments & knowledge of students entering science and Engineering degree programmes. Measuring the Mathematics Problem (2000)
And the evidence for this? Todd, K. L. (2001), Diagnostic Testing for Mathematics
And the evidence for this? Source: Education Guardian
And the evidence for this? Source: Education Guardian & UCAS
How have universities responded? Universities have reacted to this change in the abilities of students commencing mathematics and mathematics related programmes: –Change in 1 st year course content –Bridging courses –Maths support (centres).
And the resources produced? Paper Based Resources: –Facts & Formulae Leaflets; –Refresher Guides. Web Based Support: –Mathcentre (www.mathcentre.ac.uk)Mathcentre –Online Statistics Glossary (STEPs)STEPs Video Based Support –Mathtutor (www.ebst.co.uk/algebra)Mathtutor Diagnostic Testing & Assessment –STACK (www.stack.bham.ac.uk)STACK