Loughborough University
Hodgen_LowAttainersMaths-42015-FinalReport-May2020.pdf (2.12 MB)
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Low attainment in mathematics: an investigation focusing on Year 9 students in England

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posted on 2020-06-15, 08:45 authored by Jeremy Hodgen, Rob Coe, Colin FosterColin Foster, Margaret Brown, Steve Higgins, Dietmar Küchemann
This project investigated low attainment in mathematics by focusing on the lowest attaining 40% of pupils in Year 9 in England and addressing the following research questions:
x What mathematics do low attaining secondary pupils understand, and what are their particular strengths and weaknesses in number, multiplicative reasoning and algebra?
x Can low attainment be characterised simply as delay? If not, to what extent and in what ways do low attaining pupils understand mathematics in qualitatively different ways to high attaining pupils?
x To what extent do low attaining pupils' prior understandings of mathematics, and of particular mathematical topics, help to explain the existence of the attainment gap? What is the relative contribution of these mathematical understandings in comparison to socio-economic status and other demographic factors?
x What is currently known about the effectiveness of teaching strategies and approaches that address low attainment in secondary mathematics?
x To what extent is mathematics currently taught in appropriate ways for low attainers?


Nuffield Foundation



  • Science


  • Mathematics Education Centre


Hodgen, J., Coe, R., Foster, C., Brown, M., Higgins, S., & Küchemann, D. (2020). Low attainment in mathematics: An investigation focusing on Year 9 students in England. Final Report. London: UCL Institute of Education.


UCL Institute of Education


  • VoR (Version of Record)

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Cover photograph © Kirsten Holst (www.kirstenholst.com).

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Dr Colin Foster. Deposit date: 12 June 2020

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