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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. [...]

History

School

  • Science

Department

  • Mathematics Education Centre

Published in

Mathematics Teaching

Volume

287

Pages

7 - 14

Publisher

Association of Teachers of Mathematics

Version

  • VoR (Version of Record)

Rights holder

© ATM and the author

Publisher statement

Re-use is subject to the publisher’s terms and conditions. Legitimate uses of this document/article include printing of one copy for personal use, reasonable duplication for academic and educational purposes. It may not be used for any other purpose in any way that may be deleterious to the work, aims, principles or ends of ATM. Neither the original electronic or digital version or paper version, no matter by whom or in what form it is reproduced, may be re-published, transmitted electronically or digitally, projected or otherwise used outside the above standard copyright permissions. The electronic or digital version may not be uploaded to any other website or other server. If you want to reproduce this document beyond the restricted permissions here, then application must be made for express permission to copyright@atm.org.uk. The publisher's website is at: https://www.atm.org.uk/

Publication date

2023-07-01

Copyright date

2023

ISSN

0025-5785

Language

  • en

Depositor

Dr Colin Foster. Deposit date: 8 July 2023

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