Maths

15th April 2005 at 01:00
KS3+. Election voting systems are mathematically interesting. Is our "first past the post" system fair? Shouldn't the total number of votes cast for a particular party relate o the number of seats it gains in parliament? Is there such a thing as a fair system? Investigate other voting systems, particularly proportional representation and single transferable vote. What voting system is used to elect MEPs?

Run a school election and have pupils investigate how the outcome is affected if different voting systems are used. Ask pupils to invent data to show how different systems can produce radically different outcomes from exactly the same votes.

How is data related to polls and the outcome of elections presented in the media? Looking at the use of statistical diagrams to present election data can form the basis of work on how to present data fairly and how statistical diagrams can be used to mislead people.

KS34. An investigation of voting systems and election reporting could form the basis of cross-curricular work between maths and citizenship.

KS45. Opinion polls and exit polls are worth analysing. They are often wrong. Why is this? What factors influence the reliability of a poll? Can the reliability of a poll be measured? This links to analysis and interpretation of data.

* For an explanation of various voting systems go to www.barnsdle.demon.co.ukvotevote.html

How to Lie with Statistics by Darrell Huff and Irving Geiss (WW Norton 1954 and 1993).

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