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ERIC Number: EJ994974
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2013-Mar
Pages: 18
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-0268-3679
Discussing Perception, Determining Provision: Teachers' Perspectives on the Applied Options of A-Level Mathematics
Ward-Penny, Robert; Johnston-Wilder, Sue; Johnston-Wilder, Peter
Teaching Mathematics and Its Applications: An International Journal of the IMA, v32 n1 p1-18 Mar 2013
One-third of the current A-level mathematics curriculum is determined by choice, constructed out of "applied mathematics" modules in mechanics, statistics and decision mathematics. Although this choice arguably involves the most sizeable instance of choice in the current English school mathematics curriculum, and it has a significant impact on students' post-compulsory study of mathematics, it is not well understood how this choice is navigated. This article explores how mathematics teachers perceive each of these three areas of applied mathematics, how widely each of the modules is offered and in what ways perception might be connected to provision. Data from an online questionnaire and follow-up interviews demonstrate that teachers are influenced by a wide range of factors, including strategic concerns and views on the relative worth of each strand. The results also highlight the presence of inertia in centres' provision. In this way, this article offers some insight into current perception and provision of applied mathematics in England, and speaks to contemporary debates about curriculum content and reform. It argues that students' exposure to the powerful utility of mathematics is often unhelpfully steered or limited at a critical point in their education.
Oxford University Press. Great Clarendon Street, Oxford, OX2 6DP, UK. Tel: +44-1865-353907; Fax: +44-1865-353485; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education; Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: United Kingdom (England)