School Mathematics: Potential, Policy and Practice

Is mathematics important, even vital, for an individual and for society? Some are adamant that this is the case, while others, equally vociferously disagree, tending to argue that the subject is both boring and irrelevant. In this talk, I will discuss what I see as the roots of these differing points of view. I argue that mathematics is indeed important but only if it learners actually engage with the subject and do so in ways that are rigorous. I will propose that one way to achieve both rigour and broader access to mathematics lies with using appropriately designed digital technology. I will illustrate my argument with examples from research and practice.

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About the speaker:

Celia Hoyles is Professor of Mathematics Education at the London Knowledge Lab, Institute of Education, University of London, following teaching in London secondary schools. She was awarded a first class honours degree in mathematics from the University of Manchester and holds a masters and doctorate in mathematics education.  She was the U.K. Government’s Chief Adviser for Mathematics , 2004-7, and the Director of the National Centre for Excellence in the Teaching of Mathematics, 2007 -13.  She was the first recipient of International Commission of Mathematics Instruction (ICMI) Hans Freudenthal medal in 2004, and of the UK’s Royal Society Kavli Education Medal in 2011. She became an Officer of the British Empire (OBE) in 2004, and was made a Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire in 2014.

Her academic interests are secondary students’ conceptions of proof, the mathematical skills needed in modern workplaces and the design computer environments for learning mathematics.  She has directed more than 30 research and consultancy projects and published widely in articles and books.

She also co-presented a popular TV mathematics quiz show, Fun and Games, which topped the prime-time ratings between 1987 and 1990.

She serves on the Education Committee of the European Mathematical Society and was elected as President of the learned society the Institute of Mathematics and its Applications (IMA) in Jan 2014.

Light refreshments will be provided from 5.00 pm.

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