Articles on Mathematics education

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A student revising class work in Kenya. The quality of maths teaching in schools can have a profound impact on learner interest. Reuters/Thomas Mukoya

Boredom, alienation and anxiety in the maths classroom? Here’s why

The quality of what pupils come to know, understand and are able to do has a big impact on students. Low quality leads to boredom as well as fear and anxiety about maths as a subject
An early understanding of numbers may be a sign of mathematical ability. Oksana Kuzmina

What makes a mathematical genius?

You may have got what it takes to be a mathematical genius without even being aware of it.
Many of the genes for maths and reading overlap. Businessman via alphaspirit/Shutterstock

Better at reading than maths? Don’t blame it all on your genes

I disliked and feared maths for most of my school career and dropped it as soon as I possibly could. My mother recalls me crying as a five-year-old because: “I can’t do the people-on-the-bus sums”. If…
The answer… 56. Multiplication table by extender_01/Shutterstock

What is 7x8? You’ll need confidence to answer correctly

The British Chancellor George Osborne recently refused to answer a simple times table question posed to him by seven-year-old school boy Samuel Reddings. Osborne was asked the question 7x8, but declined…
A better grounding in mathematics is needed for a career in science. Shutterstock

A lack of maths just doesn’t add up for a career in science

Our future in science, technology and engineering relies on a foundation and understanding of mathematics. And while it is pleasing to see a growth in interest in our advanced mathematics course at the…
Chess can be applied to maths education – you just have to think outside the box. practicalowl

A good move to master maths? Check out these chess puzzles

In the spirit of the current world championship bout between Norwegian grandmaster Magnus Carlsen and Indian grandmaster Viswanathan Anand, we should seriously consider the role of chess in how young students…
Forget the calculator: maths is about ideas, not arithmetic. celestehopkins

Putting maths on the map with the four colour theorem

Recently, as a community ambassador for ANU Student Equity, I took to a local secondary school to talk maths with a small group of students. The goal? To give them an enjoyable mathematical experience…
Sending secure information? You could do a lot worse than employing the RSA algorithm. Seq

The RSA algorithm (or how to send private love letters)

A couple of days ago on The Conversation, I set myself up with a task: to defend the usefulness of so-called “useless” maths. Today, that defence continues, with a look at the RSA algorithm. I finished…
As all mathematicians know, the rift between useful and useless can change with time. Manu gomi

Your number’s up – a case for the usefulness of useless maths

I once made the mistake of asking a mathematician why he devoted his whole life to maths. “Because it’s fun!” he replied wildly, his flabby cheeks beaming with childlike excitement. “Ah, of course,” I…
Mathematics enrolments are falling but demand for trained mathematicians is on the rise. http://www.flickr.com/photos/edbrambley

Q+A: Top maths adviser sounds alarm on mathematician shortage

Demand for trained mathematicians is growing but enrolment is maths courses is in steep decline. Failing to tackle the problem…
Two new international reports on school performance should be put into perspective. Education image from www.shutterstock.com

Are we headed for an educational disaster? Hardly

The recent release of Australia’s performance in the TIMMS (2011) and PIRLS (2011) test results has sparked much media comment about what this means for the quality of Australian education. The focus so…
Prime Minister Julia Gillard wants Australia to improve its international standing in education performance, setting a goal to be in the top 5 by 2025. AAP

New reports sound alarm on school performance: experts respond

Two new education performance reports released by the Australian Council for Educational Research (ACER) have painted a bleak…

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