By Ziauddin Sardar, Borin Van Loon, Jerry Ravetz

What's arithmetic, and why is it this sort of secret to such a lot of humans? arithmetic is the best construction of human intelligence. It impacts us all. we rely on it in our day-by-day lives, and but a number of the instruments of arithmetic, resembling geometry, algebra and trigonometry, are descended from old or non-Western civilizations. Introducing arithmetic lines the tale of arithmetic from the traditional international to fashionable instances, describing the good discoveries and delivering an available advent to such themes as number-systems, geometry and algebra, the calculus, the speculation of the endless, statistical reasoning and chaos concept. It exhibits how the background of arithmetic has visible development and paradox move hand in hand - and the way this can be nonetheless occurring this day.

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Qxp:RAY Q7 2/11/07 10:47 Page 18 Meeting the Needs of Your Most Able Pupils: MATHEMATICS Meeting the Needs of Your Most Able Pupils: MATHEMATICS present state of play and a statement of intent for the future. It is a document that will need regular review if it is to reflect and adapt to changing circumstances. Although many policies are written because of external pressures, such as access to specific funding opportunities, this is not the best place to start. Ideally, any policy should reflect local needs and local situations and it is these that should be the principal drivers of policy and should affect the detailed implementation.

How will the classroom climate support and encourage the most able? ● Will the classroom offer an atmosphere in which the contributions from all pupils are recognised and valued and where enthusiasm for learning is fostered? Are pupils encouraged to be independent, creative problem solvers? ● Will different learning styles be catered for? ● How will able pupils with additional needs be supported? For example, the use of mentoring for social or skill-based needs and learning support for particular disabilities.

It is therefore probably more acceptable to think of mathematical ability as a continuum, or as a selection of particular characteristics drawn from a wide menu. So what do we actually mean by being mathematically able, functioning at a deeper level, mathematically precocious? To return to the question posed above – what is it that our students say, do, or write that leads us to believe they are able? ‘I just know’ Experienced teachers of any curriculum subject use their wealth of knowledge in many informal and almost subconscious ways to judge ability, and would probably have little problem in identifying the most able in their classes.