So how does one become a philosopher? By having ones soul drawn ‘from the changing, to the real.’
So what curriculum is best suited to draw ones soul from the changing, to the real? ‘Why, it’s mathematics.’
By studying mathematics, Plato believed we could become philosophers, ‘thinkers’
I entered teaching through the Teach First programme, in 2011. Here are some facts:
- Over one fifth of people leave school functionally innumerate (2010): http://www.tes.co.uk/article.aspx?storycode=6042996
- Below two thirds of people achieve a C grade in mathematics, while less than a third reach a B (2012): http://www.guardian.co.uk/news/datablog/2012/aug/23/gcse-results-2012-exam-breakdown#data
Here’s what I believe:
- Achieving a C grade on the current exam papers requires very little mathematical ability or understanding
- Almost 100% of the population are intellectually capable of achieving an A* on the current papers, if the correct systems, curriculum and pedagogy are in place
I know there are already people who’ve figured out how to run the most effective schools in the toughest circumstances, though given that, I don’t yet understand why all our schools are not equally effective.
I know that others have figured out how to design the most effective curricula, though I’ve yet to see their ideas applied to mathematics.
I know that others have figured out the best ways of instructing students, yet I see a persistent ideological battle being fought at this level.
Can we do better?
At least, I want to see a future where almost every child entering our schools leaves them capable of achieving what today we consider to be an ‘A*’ in mathematics.
Ideally, I want to see them capable of more.