Mastery in mathematics has been hitting the headlines as it is introduced in England. This collection of teaching principles is supposedly the reason that so many Asian countries have students that achieve high in maths and do well in international tests such as PISAs.
So what is it about this approach that works so well? As far as I can tell from different experts on the issue, it is about enabling all students to create a deep and transferable understanding of maths as a firm foundation to build proficiency in working with numbers, quick and accurate recall and an ability to tackle problems and real life situations. As I read further, I was excited to discover that most of the methodologies were not that dissimilar to way that I currently teach and strategies I have employed. Perhaps that should not be so surprising as I have been lucky enough to take part in some excellent training in teaching maths, especially in Australia where I worked for over 2 years.
What does this mean for me as a teacher in Scotland? I am not connected to any of the English hubs piloting the system, but all is not lost. This is not a scheme of work, but a way of structuring learning and teaching and I would seem that I have taken many steps along this path already. I’m going to take this opportunity to look at the key principles of Mastery in Maths, reflect on my own practice and use my new knowledge to fine tune the opportunities I give my students to learn, explore and enjoy maths.