Effective teachers know their subject

8th December 2000 at 00:00
MY heart sank at the front-page trailer "Why mathematicians can't teach maths".

As I expected, Karen Gold's (otherwise good) article dredged up, yet again, the finding from the King's College 1997 study.

In the interest of balance, Karen might have mentioned the contradictory findings of my research with Sarah Martyn, Patti Barber and Caroline Heal, which I summarised in your own pages ("Discovering the ABC of number", TES, March 12, 1999). Our finding that good maths subject knowledge and good maths teaching go together (and vice versa) is based on a sample of 154 teachers, compared with 18 in the Kig's study.

People also conveniently overlook evidence from a concept- mapping questionnaire in the King's study which indicates that the effective teachers had good subject knowledge (if not necessarily good qualifications).

I could also point to some recent research on maths teacher trainee's experience (mostly negative) of maths at university.

Those dons who carp at the poor entry-level maths of their undergraduate students have

significantly been responsible for shaping the attitudes of those who teach them.

Dr Tim Rowland

Homerton College

University Of Cambridge


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

Comments

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