Promoting maths

18th February 2000 at 00:00
REAL WORLD MATHEMATICS. Video, directed by Gavin Nettleton. Free from Admissions Office (Faculty of IT), Watts building, Moulsecoomb campus, Brighton University, BN2 4GJ.

Mathematics seems to have a reputation among A-level students as a difficult subject, with little relevance to employment in the real world. This 10-minute video from Brighton University attempts to challenge this idea and to encourage more A-level maths students to consider taking a degree in the subject. But it is also a recruitment video for Brighton, outlining what makes its courses unique.

The video provides some positive images of students speaking with genuine enthusiasm about the relevance and enjoyment they find in mathematics and about Brighton's teaching approaches.

In such a short video there is little opportunity to develop the mathematics in the applications shown, although such development could be helpful to teachers and students. But the video does convey the iea that studying mathematics at Brighton is not a dry theoretical experience, but is rooted in the application of maths to solving problems in the real world and the workplace, and includes the need to communicate solutions effectively.

This video could be a useful resource for A-level maths teachers, and I hope other universities will be encouraged to produce their own. Given the expense of producing good video material, perhaps more would be gained from collaborative work between several universities to produce a more extensive resource showing a wider range of applications.

Peter Johnston-Wilder is a senior lecturer in mathematics education at De Montfort University Bedford .

february 18 2000 TES FRIDAY 24 Review Mathematics Numbers game: teachers will need to construct their own theory .

Review Information booksresources 25 TES FRIDAY february 18 2000 Love it From 'Day and night' in Usborne's First Encyclopedia of Our World

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