Nuffield Secondary Mathematics

First published in 1991, Nuffield Secondary Mathematics was a major curriculum development project which, under the directorship of Dr. Kath Hart, provided materials designed to improve all students' understanding of mathematics.

The project was forward-thinking as it put investigative work and thinking skills at the heart of the course. Lead lectures were included to help teachers introduce a piece of investigative work in an innovative way to a class or a whole year group. Two lead lectures were provided for each year of the course. Lead lecture scripts are in the core teaching guides; slides and audio tapes to support the lectures were available in separate packs.

Thinking skills were a key element of the course and the rationale for developing them was clearly articulated. Successful mathematics problem solvers usually employ certain thinking skills besides the facts they have learned. These processes, unlike mathematical facts, may not be learned directly, but are extremely important for the production of good, well thought-out work. The students were to be taught how to employ them and it was suggested that they were praised each time they demonstrated their use. The section on assessment gave some suggestions as to how the demonstration of these thinking skills could be assessed.

The complete course consisted of:
*A detailed introductory guide
*Topic books
*Core books
*A teaching guide for each core and topic student book

All the students' materials were successfully trialled in schools. Throughout the course photocopying was kept to a minimum but, where necessary, copiable sheets were provided so that students did not need to write in their books or copy unnecessarily.

This course, although innovative, was not a success because its rationale was designed to fit a version of the National Curriculum which changed completely during the development phase. A restructuring of the course at a late stage led to a product that also failed to sell. Mathematics teachers did not warm to the interesting attempt by the publisher to produce mathematics texts with more visual appeal.


The Core Books

The Nuffield Secondary Mathematics core books, provided stimulating investigative tasks for all students in any one year group. In their core work, students were expected to develop skills and use and apply the mathematics which they have learned in their topic work.

Each task, which was to be introduced by...

Nuffield Secondary Mathematics: Topic Books

The Topic books in the Nuffield Secondary Mathematics scheme were number, space, time, measurement, logic and algebra, probability and statistics.

In each topic area, a carefully planned sequence of books enabled a precise match between the mathematics students learn and their attainment, allowing all...

Time: book 1

Part of a mathematics series for secondary schools.

Time: book 2

Part of a mathematics series for secondary schools.


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