Mathematics Education resources
And the winner is... mathematics support
At the Times Higher Awards ceremony on 24th November 2011, it was announced that Loughborough and Coventry Universities had won the award for Outstanding Support for Students, in recognition of the work of sigma, Centre for Excellence in University-wide mathematics and statistics support. Whilst sigma at Coventry and Loughborough Universities received the award, the real winner was mathematics and statistics support across the country. In this booklet, we outline how sigma's work has contributed to the growing recognition of the importance of mathematics and statistics support and to the development of a national and international community of practitioners. Authors : Ciaran Mac an Bhaird and Duncan Lawson
Investigation of International Mathematics Cultures
Recruitment to post-graduate mathematics programmes and to lecturer positions in mathematics departments in UK universities has become dominated by international students and staff. Although mathematics is generally regarded as ‘the universal language’, the reality is that different countries have very different cultures when it comes to the teaching and learning of mathematics. There are significant variations in the pre-university mathematical experience, in terms of the curriculum content, learning styles, levels of abstraction, and assessment methods. Even within the UK, a considerable number of pre-higher education mathematics qualifications are available and, it is not always clear what mathematics can be expected when students commence their degree programmes. With increasing numbers of international students and academic staff in UK HE, the scene is becoming more complicated. Students enter degree courses with a wide range of backgrounds and bring with them very different experiences. At the same time, academic staff, having experienced different education systems, may have some unrealistic expectations from their students. With an HEA Teaching Development Grant (Individual Scheme 2012 -2013), this research by Aiping Xu, Coventry University has investigated the mathematical cultures of a range of the main international suppliers (of students and staff) to UK HE mathematics departments. Using semi-structured interviews and online questionnaires, personal experiences of academic staff who have studied or taught more than two educational systems have been drawn upon. Some examinations have also been studied in detail.
ROBBINS REVISITED - Bigger and Better Higher Education
A report by The Rt Hon. David Willetts MP, Minister for Universities and Science, revisiting issues in Higher Education first reported on by Robbins in 1963.