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Interconnecting worlds: Reflections on the contextualisation of the maths curriculum in my classroom and its impact on pupil engagement and voice

Written by: Andy Croft
4 min read
ANDY CROFT, MATHS LEAD, SNOWFIELDS ACADEMY, UK This article is about the different worlds in which we live, and how providing spaces for dialogues can help students to develop a feeling of relatedness towards the curriculum.  Amid the demands of school life, listening selectively for cues often becomes essential to steer lessons forward, anticipating misconceptions, ‘aha!’ moments, nods and queries for clarification. When I am listening on auto-pilot, I can make assumptions that can later cause me problems. In one example, in a special school 30 miles from London, my Year 11 class was learning about solving problems related to simple network diagrams. I was hoping to explore varieties of possible routes on the London Underground map. My lesson was scuppered before it began: 11 out of 12 students expressed disbelief that it was possible for a train to travel underground. The one remaining pupil decided that it was possible, but only in Tokyo. Thankfully, I stumbled across

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    Alison Jolliffe

    To recognise that we inhabit different worlds is powerful in itself, but inviting students to show us around their worlds is a beautiful thing on so many levels! We’re saying, I don’t know this world like you do, show me, tell me more. Thank you for sharing this reflection; it has certainly made me think, not only about increasing engagement and promoting mathematical dialogue in the classroom but also about empowering students to teach us a thing or two (and the impact this could have on their self esteem).

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