A critical review of mid-term planning with a focus on progression of learning in Mathematics
Student No. 20041373
Mathematics as a subject and recent developments
DFE (2013) states that Mathematics is a highly interconnected subject and it’s learning is built on in a hierarchical way, this is where the development of new mathematical concepts and skills is built upon previously acquired knowledge and students should be able to make the interconnections between topics and be able to use Mathematical reasoning to solve more complex problems. This view is supported by changes in learning theory.
McLaren (2010) emphasises that learning theory has evolved in the following way:
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Heggarty (2002) highlights the need to define progression, because as teachers we are expected to plan for progression and ensure that it happens for all pupils .She defines two types of progression :-
A progression through the curriculum to enable the teacher to design and implement teaching sequences. This requires the teacher to have the appropriate knowledge to be able to make interconnections within programmes of study and methods required to go beyond just getting the question right .
The progression of the student as they experience the curriculum in order to assess their development against the teaching sequence .
Heggarty (2002) goes onto emphasise that it is important to consider the difference between teaching and learning and that teaching does not imply learning. Vygotsky (1986) states that the rhythms of teaching and learning are different and that normally teaching proceeds learning.
Assessment is the key to monitoring progression in the Mathematics classroom it can take 4 forms:-
Diagnostic assessment is defined by Chambers ( 2008) :
“Is a device for finding out what pupils understand and can do with the purpose of adapting future teaching to the needs of the individual or class.”
The new Curriculum document states the following:
“Decisions about progression should be based on the security of Pupils’ understanding and their readiness to progress to the next stage”
These two statements highlight how important diagnostic is when planning teaching episodes.
In my own practice I have found that starters are very useful to assess prior knowledge and to consolidate any misconceptions from previous lessons.
I have also found plenaries and mini –plenaries, utilising higher order questioning helpful to determine the pace and structure of current and future lessons.
“This is carried out to collect data about the pupils about their understanding of a unit of work and to be able to benchmark them against their class and nationally”. (Black et al., 2005)
These usually take the form of tests, such as end of term or end of year tests. The grade boundaries of these tests usually give students a National Curriculum level at KS3 or a GCSE grade at KS4.
There are issues with this type of assessment. Ofsted stated:
“Formal Assessments… rely heavily on tests encorporated into published schemes and other written tests. These tests are frequently narrowly focused and fail to assess pupils’ abilities to bring together different aspects of their mathematical knowledge and apply it in new and unfamiliar situations. ” (Ofsted, 1995)
Formative assessment is carried out on a day –to-day basis, where teachers are aware of how pupils are responding to the teaching and the progress that they are making.