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ERIC Number: EJ859746
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009-Sep
Pages: 4
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 0
ISSN: ISSN-0025-5785
Sacred Cows
Ollerton, Mike
Mathematics Teaching, n215 p31-34 Sep 2009
Over the past three years this author has spent a good deal of time in primary classrooms, working with teachers on problem solving approaches to the teaching and learning of mathematics. He has also worked part-time on an initial teacher training course and an NCETM/Yorkshire Forward funded project entitled "Inspiring Mathematics Champions". Thus he has had the pleasure to work with both highly committed teachers and trainee teachers. However, during this time and through these experiences he has been shocked at the abundance of curriculum prescription in mathematics and at the amount of energy colleagues put into conforming to orthodoxies. Regrettably much of this time and energy serves to undermine children's learning of mathematics. Ollerton does not wish to be critical of schools and certainly not of teachers and trainee teachers. He is, however, sceptical and highly critical of some of the systems and accepted orthodoxies that appear to dominate what happens in mathematics lessons. The issues and orthodoxies to which he refers are: (1) the use, or the interpretation of, mental and oral "starters"; (2) three-part lessons; (3) writing (narrow) objectives on the board; (4) differentiation by (different) tasks; and (5) pace. He explores each of these issues and offers ways of constructively reinterpreting these orthodoxies in order to consider what alternative approaches to effective practice might look like.
Association of Teachers of Mathematics. Unit 7 Prime Industrial Park, Shaftesbury Street, Derby, DE23 8YB, UK. Tel: +44-1332-346599; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Elementary Education
Audience: Teachers
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A