Step by Step
The Step by Step mathematics scheme, written by Elizabeth Ransford and George Heron and published by Blackie Chambers, aimed to provide teachers with a comprehensive, structured mathematics scheme for primary school students. Flight One of the scheme, for infants aged approximately 4-7 years, was published in 1982. Students aged 7-12 years were intended to use Flight Two.
The style of Flight One of the scheme was determined by three factors.
1. The students should not only acquire proficiency in the basic skills of arithmetic, but should also come to appreciate mathematical thinking and see how it applies to the world around us.
2. The hope that, through using the scheme, the students would begin to understand and consequently enjoy mathematics
3. By not having any expendable material so making the scheme inexpensive.
In preparing Flight Two of Step by Step mathematics, the authors were conscious of five principles which they wanted to uphold.
Students aged 7-12 years, for whom the material is intended, are at a developmental stage in which they require a concrete approach to mathematics. They require the need to 'see' what is happening, and this can be realised by their manipulating material, before they are able to generalise in the abstract way which is necessary in mathematics.
The authors felt it was important that each topic is introduced in such a way that the steps in teaching are clearly followed 'step by step' in a logical sequence, allowing the students to follow at their own speed. Also, that they required an adequate mathematical vocabulary which should be correct but need not be over sophisticated.