THE WOEFUL STATE OF MATHEMATICS EDUCATION IN THIS DFK TODAY
I recently submitted my PhD thesis in Computational Fluid Dynamics, having passed my viva. During my PhD research I taught GCSE level mathematics to students on a foundation year and was stunned by the lack of knowledge of and low level of interest in mathematics. So I looked at the syllabus of GCSE and GCE Advanced Level Mathematics and Further Mathematics of today and understood immediately why.
The GCSE Mathematics of today is about 80% of what I did at GCE O Level Mathematics in the 1980s, with no calculus or linear algebra or matrices or linear equations.
The GCE Advanced Level Mathematics that I did in the 1980s has been broken into two GCE Advanced Levels, Mathematics and Further Mathematics, and even then is still not quite what I did.
This dumbing down of the mathematics syllabus over several decades is shown in a report in The Daily Telegraph published earlier this week.
Standards in schools have slipped so low that GCSE maths now amounts to little more than "glorified numeracy" while even those with top grades at A-level are woefully ill-equipped to study maths and science at university.[source : Top universities forced to introduce remedial maths classes, The Daily Telegraph, http://www.telegraph.co.uk/education/educationnews/9420771/Top-universities-forced-to-introduce-remedial-maths-classes.html, 24/07/2012]
A combination of the "modular" A-level system, which allows pupils to bypass certain fields such as calculus, and a "race to the bottom" between competing exam boards are driving the problem, the House of Lords report has said.
Many pupils are even applying to study scientific subjects such as engineering and chemistry at university despite dropping maths at 16, meaning they arrive without even a basic knowledge of key fields like mechanics and statistics.
So despite having a PhD in mathematics and computer science I wanted to address this dumbing down of mathematics in secondary school and become a secondary mathematics teacher. So before applying for teacher training I applied to the TDA to arrange some school experience to observe the teaching of mathematics in a modern school, because this is what teacher training institutions want. My experience of this is woeful. It took the TDA 3 months to arrange a day for me, and that was in a school miles away from where I live, but on the day I could not go so asked for another day but heard nothing back. I wrote to the TDA several times but heard nothing back. I also contacted local schools directly myself but they said they were too busy, despite everyone saying that schools would be very happy to assist. So I waited and waited for the TDA to get back to me, but they didn't. I therefore applied late for teacher training, having waited to hopefully discuss such experience on my application. I had an interview last week at my first choice institution and have just found out that I have been rejected, so my application has been sent to my second choice institution.
So to summarise:
1. mathematics is being dumbed down, of that there is no doubt whatsoever,
2. there is an alleged dearth of mathematics teachers,
3. I wanted to address this,
4. I tried to arrange some school experience but that was woefully slow and nearly impossible,
5. holding a PhD I applied to become a secondary mathematics teacher, having some teaching experience but not in a secondary school.
Throughout my interview I stressed and stressed that I thought mathematics was being dumbed down and I wanted to get into a classroom and reverse the race to the bottom. I wanted to inspire students to study mathematics, physics and computer science with simulations of fluid flow run on supercomputers.
The NWO goons were very happy at this rejection, and I would not be surprised if they had something to do with it. I had a distinct folder in my bookmarks for teacher training. When I logged in to my laptop that folder had been moved to the folder for News which contains all the online newspapers I read.
This is the woeful state of mathematics education in this DFK today.