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Adaptive reason: a vital ingredient in the recipe for primary maths

Helping pupils get to grips with adaptive reasoning is a key part of helping them to become complete mathematicians, explains Agata Wygnanska

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Iwanted to conduct some research with gifted and talented maths pupils in my primary school, but I struggled to define what exactly made a pupil gifted in maths. I was sure the answer had to be more than just good test results. I knew that there was a certain something that was there in great maths moments and not others. I just couldn’t pinpoint it.

So I turned to the model of mathematical proficiency, developed by Kilpatrick et al in the US in 2001. It was the result of a long research and consultation process and produced a rather concise diagram of what being ‘good’ at maths might mean.

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