The ongoing changes in the curriculum of England and Wales, are trying to create an ethos for children ‘to be taught well and be given the opportunity to learn in ways that maximize their chances of success’ (DFES) and in Scotland ‘they should enjoy exploring and applying mathematical concepts to understand and solve problems’ (Curriculum for Excellence).
Dorothy Latham claims in her article that ‘Structured Apparatus’ in particular Stern Apparatus can assist the objectives of the improved mathematics structure in the teaching practices of today, as well as accommodating what the respective frameworks are wishing to achieve. However she is primarily focussing in the early years.
She claims that the foundations and groundwork for the children at early stages to attain the maths concepts of ‘counting and understanding number’, ‘knowing and using number’ and ‘calculating’ will put them to good stead for learning maths in the upper stages. As well as ‘knowing and understanding number bonds and operations’, ‘cardinal and ordinal numbers’ If the foundations are solid the initial mathematical concepts would be able to support further development and exploration in advanced mathematical concepts. As well as giving the children opportunity to use the tools to utilise these concepts. The apparatus has differentiation capabilities as well as assisting learning for children with learning and developmental issues.
Early stages for development and developing operational memory in assessing problem solving is enhanced due to the working memory, (manipulate information for brief periods of time) being developed and passing knowledge to the long term memory. Latham states that the apparatus manages to prevent the record of information disappearing because of its ‘visual, auditory and kinaesthetic linked to meaning’. In the early years the Stern was introduced to them by playing games.
Teachers under the new framework in England and Wales now have a responsibility to...