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Less but Better? Teaching Maths in Further Education and Collateral Growth

Faculty of Education and Society, University of Sunderland, Sunderland SR1 3SD, UK
Progression Studies, East Sussex College Group, Eastbourne BN21 2UF, UK
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Educ. Sci. 2020, 10(3), 61;
Received: 4 February 2020 / Revised: 28 February 2020 / Accepted: 3 March 2020 / Published: 6 March 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Post-Compulsory Education)
The paper presents and explores the experience of maths students studying in a context shaped by a core concept maths curriculum. The three vignettes that illuminate experience are drawn from a larger research project that worked with five teachers and 630 learners aged 16–18 in Further Education classrooms in England. Analysis involved distinguishing different understandings of being good at maths, different views of a good maths curriculum and identifying enablers and barriers to being a ‘successful’ maths student. Dewey’s ideas about focused experience and collateral learning were used to deepen this analysis. The paper reports a surprising finding. In some cases, students recognize the positive impact learning maths had on developing their wider human capabilities. Maths teachers in England, working in the context of ‘new public management’, may find reasons to take heart from the accounts of teaching and learning presented. For the international reader who is grappling with the challenge of reengaging maths students, the accounts of what matters to students could spur a reconsideration of priorities and practice. View Full-Text
Keywords: maths teaching; curriculum; student experience; wellbeing; further education maths teaching; curriculum; student experience; wellbeing; further education
MDPI and ACS Style

Nixon, L.; Cooper, J.B. Less but Better? Teaching Maths in Further Education and Collateral Growth. Educ. Sci. 2020, 10, 61.

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