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Lack of higher maths could hinder future teachers, experts warn

14/12/2010 Joanna
Growing numbers of newcomers to teaching jobs in England and Wales will lack a higher knowledge of maths, one expert has warned.

New research carried out by the Nuffield Foundation and reported on by the Guardian has revealed that just 14 per cent of pupils in England, Wales and Northern Ireland study maths beyond the age of 16, compared to the figure of 95 per cent recorded in nations such as Finland and Japan.

As well as meaning industries such as science and finance may soon be forced to look elsewhere for highly-numerate new talent, such a situation is likely to mean that the teachers of tomorrow are ill-equipped to give maths lessons, it has been claimed.

Study leader Jeremy Hodgen from King's College, London, told the newspaper: "Few primary teachers will have done any maths between the age of 16 and their early- to mid-20s, when they take a post graduate certificate in education. That is serious."

However, the report also notes that making maths compulsory for students over the age of 16 is unlikely to be the best way forward, with experts arguing that compulsion is rarely the best way to motivate young people.

Just recently, the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development reported that Shanghai students are the best in the world at maths and science.

Posted by Alan Douglas ADNFCR-2164-ID-800291334-ADNFCR
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