I’d rather die! – tonight’s #mathsjournalclub chat

Tonight (11th July 2016) at 8pm we are meeting to discuss the 6th #mathsjournalclub article which is the famous article by Brown, Brown and Bibby “I Would Rather Die’: Attitudes Of 16-Year-Olds Towards Their Future Participation In Mathematics”

This article is now almost 10 years old, and despite the numbers of students studying A-Level mathematics having increased since the 2002 data talked about in the report the participation rates of UK students in 16-19 mathematics is still often highlighted as a concern for the Government, being considerably leass than many high performing jurisdictions. IMG_1343

As teachers, I am sure that we have all heard mathematics described as “boring” and “hard” and this paper makes unwelcome reading, particularly as the sample of schools were significantly above the national average in terms of GCSE performance.

A few things to think about during the discussion tonight:

  • A large dip in percentages considering further study is shown between those pupils who achieved an A and those who achieved a B. Do you think this is the same today?
  • Does your school take people on to an A-Level if they got a Grade B?
  • How can we, as teachers, teaching within the confines of the system, tackle the perception that mathematics is boring?
  • Hatred is a strong emotion – is this to be believed?
  • What kind of activities should we be using to enhance “enjoyment” of school mathematics?

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