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New initiative uses technology to enhance maths teaching

14/11/2013 Joanna
A new initiative has been launched that will supply secondary teachers at a growing number of schools with technology to improve their maths lessons.

Cornerstone Maths uses computer-generated representations and simulations, such as visual and interactive graphs, tables and equations, to make key mathematical ideas easier to understand.

It is aimed at key stage three pupils, focusing on the topics of linear functions, mathematical similarity, algebraic generalisation, and ratio and proportion.

This scheme was initially started by US-based research institute SRI International in the 1990s and is now being rolled out in the UK in partnership with the Institute of Education's London Knowledge Lab.

More than 50 schools have already signed up to make use of the technology, with over 100 expected to use Cornerstone Maths in their lessons by September 2014.

This follows a successful year-long pilot launched in September 2011, involving 19 teachers and 490 children from a mixture of backgrounds at 11 different schools.

Professors Richard Noss and Celia Hoyles of the London Knowledge Lab commented: "By building on what the research says, and designing state-of-the-art technologies in collaboration with schools and teachers across the country, the Cornerstone Maths project is poised to make a real difference to how maths is taught and learned."

Cornerstone Maths is designed to bolster student reasoning and problem solving and encourage pupils to use mathematical reasoning skills to solve practical problems.

Furthermore, it is also intended to benefit staff in teacher jobs by offering opportunities for professional development and involvement in a wider community working on the project.

Education minister Elizabeth Truss attended the initiative's launch event in central London, at which she stressed the importance of good maths skills to children's life chances.

The government has sought to promote this through measures such as reforming the maths curriculum to ensure pupils grasp the basics from an early age, as well as making maths GCSEs more testing.

Posted by Theo FouldsADNFCR-2164-ID-801660729-ADNFCR
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