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 creative
activity, involving imagination, intuition and discovery. It is essential for all
pupils 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...