Mathematics education uncovered and recovered

A level

Out with the old, out with the new

The new A level Mathematics course started this September. It is accompanied by brand new textbooks, freshly printed and delivered to schools. We can have a look into one of them thanks to the publisher providing access to the full text online here: http://en.calameo.com/read/0007777215f36d2bc2a39?authid=2lkMzyC7Nxrh&region=uk Chapter 5 is about logarithms. This is how they are introduced: Well, […]

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Mystery continues

A new edition of a Pearson A level textbook has been published recently, and although there have been some changes made to the text, the mystery surrounding square roots has not been fully resolved. The good news is that the ambiguity about the meaning of the square root sign is gone as the book clearly […]

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One in six

It is always a pleasure to find someone of the same mind. My amazement at the UK university application system is shared by the Guardian: Historians will laugh at us when they look back at our university application system. With only one in six young people getting the exam results their teachers predict, the current […]

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Curious case of an error in an exam paper

Here is a question from A level Edexcel Core 1 January 2013 paper: The equation \(  (k+3) x^2+6x+k=5 \)   where \( k\) is a constant, has two distinct real solutions for \(x\). Show that k satisfies \(  k^2-2k-24<0 \)   Hence find the set of possible values of \( k\). This is a question […]

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The true mess of A levels

It is once again that time of the year when students receive their A level results and learn the outcome of their university applications. If something doesn’t go according to plan, they have only a few days to make important decisions and act on them. Appeals, clearing and adjustment — everything is crammed in a […]

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The root mystery

What is \(\sqrt{25}\)? You probably know but let’s see what textbooks say. One Year 7 textbook explains: Key point: The inverse of square is square root. \(3^{2}=9 \enspace \) so the square root of  \(9=\sqrt{9}=3\)   However, just next to this explanation there is a copy-and-complete exercise that reminds students that both \(4^{2}  \) and \((-4)^{2} \) […]

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