Bowland Maths: turning theory into practice

Quentin Thompson outlines the Bowland Maths initiative which aims to help students develop (and teachers teach) math skills of thinking and problem solving

“BRITAIN IS NOT GOOD ENOUGH AT MATH.” This was the Bowland Trust’s starting point for its math initiative. The first step was to establish the stage (between pre-kindergarden and post-doctoral) which was most critical in terms of developing the nation’s mathematical abilities. The conclusion was clear: Key Stage 3 – the equivalent of middle school in the U.S. The first years in middle school math no longer makes intuitive sense. Helping all students to succeed at this point and to maintain positive attitudes towards math is particularly important.

What we know
● Process skills for students aged 11-14 years are important and can be taught
● Bowland materials help students to learn about thinking and problem solving
● This new style of learning is popular and effective with students and teachers

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October 2009