Donkey work is making maths a beast of burden

6th April 2012 at 01:00

I am amused. Conrad Wolfram is telling us to do what my technician told me to do more than 20 years ago. I had a GCSE physics class with a number of stroppy lads. We were doing practical work that required calculations and graphs, which would be done very grudgingly and sloppily.

My technician added a computer and gadgets for doing measurements to my equipment. That class was never the same. The stroppiest lad was put in charge of the computer, with various others given charge of the different instruments. They could do the measurements more quickly; they could show they understood the equations by feeding in the correct data - out would come answers and graphs. They had to be ejected at break time rather than being restrained until the bell went. And all because the tedious manual work had been done for them by the computer.

Jane Giffould, Unemployed, Halstead, Essex.

Subscribe to get access to the content on this page.

If you are already a Tes/ Tes Scotland subscriber please log in with your username or email address to get full access to our back issues, CPD library and membership plus page.

Not a subscriber? Find out more about our subscription offers.
Subscribe now
Existing subscriber?
Enter subscription number


The guide by your side – ensuring you are always up to date with the latest in education.

Get Tes magazine online and delivered to your door. Stay up to date with the latest research, teacher innovation and insight, plus classroom tips and techniques with a Tes magazine subscription.
With a Tes magazine subscription you get exclusive access to our CPD library. Including our New Teachers’ special for NQTS, Ed Tech, How to Get a Job, Trip Planner, Ed Biz Special and all Tes back issues.

Subscribe now