Burn those answer books

20th June 1997 at 01:00
There is now further evidence to suggest that our methods of teaching some aspects of mathematics are not as effective as those of other countries, (TES, June 6).

One very simple solution might be to burn our answer books. Teaching mathematics is like a detective game; it is necessary to search for clues as to how the child is thinking in order to correct misconceptions. Using an answer book to mark work makes this search very much more difficult, if not impossible. Answer books help us prove the child doesn't understand, but do little to help us find out why. Wrong answers tell us so much more than correct ones and not only that two heads are not always better than one. So let's get detecting!

CAROLINE MIDGLEY Centenary Hall Pasture Road Embsay Skipton, North Yorkshire

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