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Dozens of university academics have put their names to calls for a new maths A-level in England to be scrapped.
Educators for Reform, a think tank offshoot, say "use of mathematics" is not of A-level standard.
They argue it will mislead students from poor backgrounds and will not prepare people for university study.
The Qualifications and Curriculum Authority said a consultation on the new course was just ending but it was meant to supplement existing A-levels.
Originally posted by breakingdradles
My little brother has to type reports and now also has to send them to their teachers attached in an email.
That is now how his school turns in their reports and essays.
It's to prepare them for the work world where email rules aparantly.
And each time I read the word "maths", my brain hurt a little lol.
Originally posted by YourForever
You can be sure the Chinese and the Russians aren't dumbing down their kids! Where is this going to leave the world?
Originally posted by hermantinkly
Who really needs to take Calculus anymore when we have graphing calculators and such? Rubbish/
Originally posted by john124
Of course there is a place for graphical calculators, but not on A-Level Exams, as this likely prevents many A level students from gaining the expertise to be able to do simple algebraic and trig equations on paper.
Originally posted by john124
Employers like science, engineering and maths degrees because the graduates have shown themselves capable of showing problem solving techniques, and so will adapt in real life situations. This really can't be denied. Employers for top jobs don't look for robots, they want innovative and highly intelligent people.
Originally posted by john124
But for University places at decent Uni's to do science or maths courses they require students to have a reasonable level of understanding of A Level maths. That was the issue at hand.
Originally posted by john124
And the problem people have with maths beyond yr 8 level is they assume it's too difficult so refuse to accept they can ever understand it.
Originally posted by john124
The y=2x+1 was the example I saw teachers in a school on the news showing students on a graphical calculator. I reckon I could teach any 15-16 yr old how to draw the graph of this who are willing to learn this within 5 minutes on a whiteboard, and visually this is better than on a touch screen.
Originally posted by john124
Using the graphical calculator just adds unnecessary jargon into their heads at this level, and overcomplicates the situation.
Employers want people who can solve their problems. I guarantee you that very few people will solve engineering problems using pen and paper. They'll use computers, with CAS algorithms. Graduates, with little exposure to CAS will not be as versatile as those who are competent with them.
Then the assessment needs to be looked at and adjusted accordingly. There are many ways to ask questions, where having a CAS calculator provides no advantage.
Originally posted by john124
I have nothing against teaching A level students the use of graphical calcs, but there is zero reason for these to be part of the A level Maths examination, as that is basically giving away marks.
Originally posted by john124
Employers and Universities are looking for these skills over how to input on a graphics calculator.
Originally posted by john124
But generally a student would learn the input technique over the mathematical technique. I guarantee this would happen, it's not long since I was a student myself at this level, and students would go for the easier route of learning if the opportunity presented itself.
Originally posted by john124
To allow graphical calcs in exams means this mathematical technique is no longer part of the assessment.
Originally posted by john124
If we compromise and have a section A and B with one with the graphics calculator, then this just opens the door to allowing a graphics calculator for the whole A level Maths exam, and therefore lowering the standard of skills learnt.
Originally posted by john124
However you put it, the skills of operating a graphics calculator are nowhere near as relevant as students learning it from a book, pen and paper and standard calculator.
Originally posted by john124
A level Maths assessment should stick to the mathematical principles for the assessment, and not assess data input as anything more than a subsidiary. Are we going to assess year 9 students next on how to input 6*6 on a calculator?
Originally posted by john124
Listen, we don't need to assess the kids on this.... University Professors have put forward how this can be detrimental and dumbing-down to an extent possibly where kids don't even know how to integrate and differentiate basic trig functions.
Originally posted by john124
But I am completely against using these as a primary method of teaching as it sets a dangerous precedent, and any use whatsoever during examinations. Any diminuishing of A level maths will just prevent students from attaining the necessary understanding for degree level basics.
I disagree. Employers are looking for people who can get the job done, whatever the means.
The academics - at least 62 of them as of Thursday afternoon - say that in particular the compulsory algebra and calculus units are "considerably less demanding and cover less content than A-level".