Competition is an extremely important subject enrichment area and enhances a blended learning programme. As well as giving pupils fun in maths, it also gives them experience of problem solving and teamwork.
Recent research by Steiner and Lars in 2012 has shown that using a variety of pedagogies will lead to improved performance and enjoyment. Their research questions were:
- What are the common features found between teachers who belong to a school who repeatedly achieve a high learning performance in mathematics?
- What characterizes their pedagogical practise?
Their findings suggest that to enhance student’s enjoyment, teachers should mainly be facilitators, while students have an active role in efforts to identify interesting problems and select methods to resolve these. It’s reported that the learning results by using these methods show positive results in student’s performance.
In the past few months, we’ve run Online Maths Feasts for Year 10 students, and the AMSP East Midlands Inter-School Maths Quiz for Year 8 and Year 9 students. After attending these events, teachers have fed back to us that students have enjoyed the maths and the competition and have worked well as a team, collaborating to solve the problems.
With all that in mind, we’re planning to run three competitions during the 2021/22 academic year:
- An online problem-solving competition (using Desmos) in the autumn term for Year 12 students.
- Our Maths Feast competition in February and March for Year 10 students.
- Our Online Inter-School Maths Quiz in the summer for Year 8 and Year 9 students.
We hope that you’ll be able to join us! You can keep an eye out for these events on the East Midlands regional events page.