The Standards Unit: Improving learning in mathematics

The Standards Unit: Improving Learning in Mathematics resources were produced as a response to the Smith report. The materials use active learning approaches originally designed for post-16 mathematics but for use across the secondary phase. The resources, and the work of the Standards Unit with leading maths experts in the country, were part of the Department for Education and Skills' response to the Smith Report and offer practical and effective ways to improve learning in mathematics.

The resources were developed from the work of Susan Wall, a Gatsby fellow working at Wilberforce College, Hull and Dr Malcolm Swan from Nottingham University. The underlying principles to Malcolm's and Susan's approaches are identical, and built on research evidence of the last 30-40 years, which suggests that learning mathematics is far more successful if learners are actively engaged, encouraged to think mathematically and to see links and connections. They also accord with the findings of the Inspectorate, in relation to good practice.



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In this section you will be able to explore: * The challenges and issues faced in post-16 mathematics education. *The research underpinning the approaches adopted by the Standards Unit to meet the challenges. *The experiences of the teachers and trainers in the pilot.

Thinking about learning focusses on five aspects of effective practice that teachers and trainers have found to be particularly important in promoting successful learning: questioning, discussion, using misconceptions, assessment and meeting the needs of all learners. Selecting each of these aspects will allow you...

These materials exemplify the ideas and approaches adopted in the Standards Unit pilot. To get best value from them, we recommend that you use them in association with the guidance and other materials in the resource. The following are some specific hints and guidance:

  • These sessions are offered as...

Planning Learning

In this section you will be able to explore three different sessions. You might like to view them more than once, each time focusing on a different aspect of the planning. There are many ways to promote effective learning. You can explore some of these in the 'Thinking about learning' section on this resource. The...