Including All Children In Daily Maths Lessons Using The National Numeracy Strategy In The Uk

3974 words - 16 pages

Drawing on your work in schools and research evidence, critically discuss the teaching of mathematics (or an aspect of mathematics) with particular reference to inclusion.Mathematics is crucial to a child's understanding of the way the world is ordered.It is a means of communicating information and ideas. It is also a creativeactivity, involving imagination, intuition and discovery. It is essential for allpupils whatever their ability. (Berger, Morris & Portman, 2000, p5)From determining which is the next bus to catch and how much the ticket will be to determining the weight a bridge will safely carry, mathematics is a topic which surrounds us all constantly. It is a fact of life and aspects apply to all, as the quotation states, 'whatever their ability'. As David Blunkett stated at the launch of the National Numeracy Strategy (NNS), 'Numeracy is a key life skill. Without basic numeracy skills, our children will be disadvantaged throughout life.' (NNS, 1999, foreword). Despite being so essential to life, Haylock notes that 'Anxiety about mathematics and feelings of inadequacy in this subject are widespread amongst the adult population in Britain (Buxton, 1981, cited in Haylock 2001, p2). The foundations for these anxieties will be made in the early years of life, during time at primary school. The view that each teacher holds towards mathematics will influence the way they teach it. Equally, so will the view that each teacher holds towards inclusion, as this will also lie at the heart of the way they conduct each lesson.Despite the frequency of the term 'inclusion' being used in modern education, a concrete definition is hard to find. Some definitions, and indeed a lot of general opinions, focus on disability - 'Inclusive education means disabled and non-disabled children and young people learning together in ordinary [institutions] with appropriate networks of support.' (E:\CSIE What is inclusion.htm, retrieved 31 March 06). Certainly many books about inclusion and inclusion policy focus on special educational needs (SEN). However, as the previous article goes on to point out, 'Inclusion in education involves reducing barriers to learning and participation for all students, not only those with impairments or those who are categorized as having special educational needs.' (E:\CSIE What is inclusion.htm, retrieved 31 March 06). The National Curriculum (NC) states that 'schools have a responsibility to provide a broad and balanced curriculum for all pupils' (NC, p30). It then goes on to set out three principles for inclusion which teachers are 'required to have due regard to': setting suitable learning challenges; responding to pupils' diverse learning needs and overcoming potential barriers to learning and assessment for individuals and groups of pupils. This essay will aim to discuss these in relation to the current guidance on how mathematics should be taught in primary schools - the National Numeracy Strategy (NNS). This essay will also...

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