Sunday 11 December 2016

Maths gurus are not best teachers

Published 19/02/2010 | 05:00

REPORTS have highlighted the number of "poorly qualified" maths teachers working in Irish schools (Irish Independent, February 17). I would just like to make the observation that good mathematicians do not necessarily make good maths teachers. Knowing a subject and being able to teach it effectively are very different things.

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Certainly, if you have a degree in mathematics you are better equipped to explain methods and concepts to young people learning the subject.

However, someone with a reasonable knowledge of maths and a knack for teaching will probably help more students to master the subject than someone far more qualified who cannot pass on what they know in a manageable, relevant and enjoyable way. We don't need people who know more about maths, we need people who know more about maths teaching. Attracting more maths graduates into teaching is only a small part of the solution.

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