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Need for context

When teaching numeracy in primary schools, is it not good practice to embed context? I have recently observed numeracy lessons given by trainees from a variety of colleges, often planned with the advice of class teachers. Most of these lessons have been thoroughly planned with appropriate learning objectives, well resourced and conducted in a positive learning atmosphere, but I have often failed to spot the "context", the everyday application of the skills being targeted.

Without a real-life scenario, so much is missing. Context provides opportunities for discussion and problem-solving. It enables pupils to "visualise" and develops their thinking skills.

As a relatively new recruit from teaching to teacher-training, I am willing to reconsider my expectations if I am indeed out of step. Perhaps trainee teachers or lecturers can add to these reflections? In the meantime, I continue to expect context.

Roger Rooke, Link tutor, Urban Learning Foundation, Bishop's Stortford, Herts

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