Category Archives: Uncategorised

External engagement during the pandemic

Last September I came back from maternity leave, mid pandemic, to reclaim my role as external engagement lead for the school of mathematics and statistics. I had particularly missed this aspect of my job: organising events with our academics, hosting … Continue reading

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What is the way forward for Maths exams 2021?

A personal viewpoint from Cathy Smith, Mathematics Education lead at the Open University. Ofqual and DfE are currently consulting about their proposals for giving students GCSE, AS and A level grades this summer, a change of plan from the problematic … Continue reading

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Generalising in Mathematics

Generalising in Mathematics by Philip Higgins     One of the most revealing aspects of ME625 and ‘Developing Thinking in Algebra’ (Mason et al 2012) is that algebra is the search for the general rule and that this generality can … Continue reading

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Developing Thinking in Learning and Doing Geometry

Developing Thinking in Learning and Doing Geometry.   You might have thought the title of this blog is unnecessarily complicated! It is a hybrid of the names for the current Open University geometry module (Developing Thinking in Geometry) and the … Continue reading

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What does it mean to understand probability: with diversions into parrots, children and sweets

One of the lockdown conversations that has stuck in my mind was with a colleague whose 8-year old does not really want to go back to school. One of his reasons is a tribute to her homeschooling arrangements: he has … Continue reading

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…  even if you don’t get to a solution you’ll learn more about the environment around you What makes some people love doing maths and others not? This is a question that inspires our research at the OU? We are … Continue reading

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Meet an OU statistician

Rebecca Would is  a year 12 work experience student who has visited the Maths and Stats department of the OU. She interviewed Karen Vines, a senior lecturer in statistics, to find out about her and her work Maths and Stats students at the … Continue reading

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Mathematics: The unattainable key to success

Dr Cathy Smith, who leads the maths education team here at the OU, has recently had a paper published in the British Journal of Sociology of Education – congratulations Cathy! In a nutshell (if it’s possible!), the paper concerns the … Continue reading

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Using Examples in the Maths Classroom

Here in the OU Maths Education department we have been having some interesting discussions about the specific words we use when talking about teaching practice. In this post we discuss the variety of ways in which examples are used in … Continue reading

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School Maths Conference at the OU – A-levels, Dragon Races and Codes

Rebecca Would is a sixth-form work experience student who visited the Maths and Stats department of the OU and supported the School Maths Conference. This is her report. In July the OU ran a maths conference in conjunction with some … Continue reading

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