Janet K. Baker
University of Warwick
Mathematics anxiety is a prevalent, distressing and debilitating problem which increases through secondary education. Causes of mathematics anxiety are well researched and the implications for teaching are widely discussed; however, the age at which it becomes debilitating is less clear. I report on the first stage of my doctoral research. I assessed the level of mathematics anxiety in year 7 pupils at a large secondary school in the English Midlands. Mathematics anxiety was measured through a paper-based questionnaire, adapted from the Betz Mathematics Anxiety Scale. 223 eleven-year olds took part. The data was analysed using commercial software. This research develops knowledge of the extent to which young learners are affected by mathematics anxiety, including issues related to prior mathematics achievement and gender.
University of Bristol
The identity narratives that surround low attainment in mathematics suggest a negative and deficient positioning when compared to both other students and the discipline of mathematics itself, however the positioning voice of low prior attaining (LPA) students themselves is less prevalent when compared to that of other participants. This discussion compares both direct and indirect positioning statements of participants as reported in research regarding low attainment in mathematics, before foregrounding the LPA students’ own narratives. The themes of behaviour, capacity and opportunity emerge from my analysis; however, the theme of behaviour is not evident in the LPA students’ own narratives. There is some evidence that foregrounding LPA student participants in research regarding their identity allows a counter narrative to emerge.
Andrew Potter and Gerry Golding
This paper will introduce ongoing scholarship work at the Open University (OU) aimed at better understanding perceptions of level-one (first-year) study on the introductory service mathematics module “Discovering Mathematics”. We are concerned about students’ ability to achieve passing grades without really engaging with the material in depth, and how this lack of engagement might impact their future study. Following Williams (2012), we use the concepts of “use value” and “exchange value” to explore student perceptions of their mathematical study. Using data from tutors’ reflective journals and tutor focus groups, we will analyse perceptions of students through the eyes of their tutors in relation to their mathematical studies over two presentations with a focus on two key assessment points. We hope that our findings from the tutors’ reflective journals will inform the development of a range of context-based activities in the learning environment that facilitate the development of use value mindsets.
04 Art in Maths
UCL Institute of Education
This paper discusses what ‘art in maths’ might mean through presentation and discussion of a set of examples of visual art or visual mathematics. The examples have been chosen to show interfaces between mathematical and art practices and each of the examples is interpreted for a mathematics education context.
Some contemporary issues related to STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering Arts, Mathematics) concludes the paper.
University of Bristol
Historically music was central to the mathematics curriculum, but has become separated. Cuisenaire rods, colourful blocks from 1 cm to 10 cm in length, are enjoying a revival in UK mathematics classrooms to support Singapore bar-modelling. Their inventor Georges Cuisenaire (1891-1975) was a violinist and music teacher, not a mathematician. As a research experiment, I attempted to design ‘object lessons’ based on Cuisenaire rods to support cross-curricular teaching of mathematics and music.
University of Bristol
This research is devoted to analysing the examples used in textbooks from two countries. The aim is to give suggestions for teachers who work in bilingual schools, to choose the advantages of each of the two countries’ textbooks to facilitate recent Chinese students’ learning efficiency in bilingual mathematics lessons. Six criteria are included in the analysing framework for comparing five topics selected from two countries’ textbooks. Five bilingual teachers are invited in the interviews to express their attitudes toward the two textbooks after they read the comparison results. This study suggests that except from using extra examples to strengthen students’ exam questions-solving ability, the UK’s textbooks can be used as mainstream textbooks due to the final examination, whereas the Chinese ones could be a supplement for learners in early ages and for quick learning of high-attaining students or as an expanding of leading students to appreciate mathematics.
Martin Brown, Kevin Gibson and Sue Pope
Scottish Qualifications Authority
At almost 50%, Scotland’s participation in post-compulsory school mathematics is in sharp contrast to participation rates in the rest of the UK. The current Higher in Mathematics is valued as a highly effective component in preparation for STEM-related further study and employment. However, there is an increasing need for mathematical and statistical literacy across an increasingly wide range of academic disciplines, in life and in work. The Scottish Qualifications Authority (SQA) is developing a new distinctive Higher in Applications of Mathematics to meet this need. This draws on the work in England on Free Standing Mathematics Qualifications, AS and A level Use of Mathematics, and Core Maths, international developments, and work by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) on mathematical literacy in the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA).