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Less is more: Improving by removing

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journal contribution
posted on 2023-07-18, 12:46 authored by Colin FosterColin Foster

The pressures currently on teachers of mathematics at every level seem greater than ever, whether that is university mathematics lecturers, school teachers or those who work with very young learners. So, I began my Presidential Address with the hope that no one would leave the Joint Conference of Mathematics Subject Associations 2023 feeling as though they were not good enough and must do more. I did not want anyone to go home with a lengthy to-do guilt list of additional things they must try to incorporate into their practice. Instead, I advocated giving attention to the ancient proverb “less is more”, versions of which are found within many cultures; e.g., “brevity is the soul of wit” (Hamlet), “sometimes diminishing a thing adds to it; Sometimes adding to a thing diminishes it” (Tao Te Ching). I offered five aspects of mathematics teaching and learning that might benefit from ‘less of’ something, in each case trying to see how this might create space for more of something else. In this article, I present these five suggestions for improving by removing. [...]



  • Science


  • Mathematics Education Centre

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Mathematics Teaching




7 - 14


Association of Teachers of Mathematics


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Dr Colin Foster. Deposit date: 8 July 2023

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