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Parking's fine

A mathematics teaching approach which uses everyday scenarios to explain concepts to lower and middle-ability pupils is more than doubling their scores on standard problem-solving tests compared to peers being taught by conventional methods.

Researchers from Manchester Metropolitan university's institute of education say they found considerable improvements in the abilitities of pupils using Realistic Mathematics Education, which was developed in the Netherlands, instead of the national numeracy strategy.

Teachers are encouraged to make extensive use of everyday situations in the classroom. For example, 20 minutes might be spent at the start of a lesson talking about car parks and how they are organised and run before tackling the maths question of the best way to organise the spaces to get as many cars in the car park.

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