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Power for Young Mathematicians

Power for Young Mathematicians was first published in March 1988 as a submission by MESU (The Micro-Electronics Support Unit) to the National Curriculum Mathematics Working Party.

At the time of publication, computers were relatively new to many schools and there was much debate about how they could be used in the mathematics classroom and the effect they might have on the curriculum and how it was taught. However many of the issues are still relevant today.

In the introduction to the booklet, Anita Straker sets the scene for this discussion:
“The majority of mathematical techniques which are taught in school make use of pencil and paper or other apparatus, yet every single one can now be carried out by a machine much faster and to a greater degree of accuracy than can be done with the traditional tools of the trade.”

The report looked at the reasons for using computers and calculators and also some of the issues.

1. Challenging the mathematics curriculum
2. Encouraging an exploratory approach
3. Motivating and supporting problem solving
4. Visualisation
5. Presenting and representing work
6. Maths across the curriculum
7. Talking about mathematics
8. Collaborative learning
9. Independent learning

1. Time
2. Availability of hardware and software
3. Classroom teaching styles
4. Software and hardware of the future
5. Progression
6. Changes to the mathematics curriculum
7. Why is progress so slow?

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