Chicken or Egg?

This week’s blog is about my efforts to think through the place of problem-solving in teaching, and in relation to the development of conceptual understanding and knowledge of techniques. When the introductory blurb to the national curriculum was written, the first draft put the aims in this order: Fluency Problem-solving Reasoning To us – the […]

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Why quadratics?

One of the biggest ‘why oh why’ questions in secondary school mathematics is the purpose of studying quadratic equations because ‘I am never going to need them in everyday life’. This irritating question is based on a sound premise. The applications generally offered to students to persuade them of the usefulness of quadratics tend to […]

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Jill Carter: The Literacy Octopus

Everyone talks about literacy across the curriculum, whole school literacy and literacy co-ordinators but, like differentiation, when you actually ask what this means no-one really provides an answer. I think this results, in part, from the confusion over Literacy (with a capital L) and English. In the primary sector anything that resembles English is referred […]

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Stand and Deliver

The traditional whiteboard (or even blackboard) used to take centre stage in the classroom. It has been pushed to one side (where most pupils can’t see), reduced in size or eliminated altogether. The other day I had a conversation with a talented young teacher who declared that she was going to request a traditional whiteboard […]

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