My name is Susan Okereke and I love teaching maths! I passionately believe that numeracy (the ability to use maths in a real life context) is an essential basic skill that everyone should be confident at, like reading and writing. Through my teaching and through this blog I hope to challenge the idea that maths is boring, too difficult and irrelevant to people’s everyday lives.
I am currently doing a Master’s degree in Teaching and the course has reminded me of the important role teachers, especially maths teachers, play in our society. Through reading literature on maths education, I have come to the realisation that maths education plays a significant role in enhancing inequality in society through practices like ability-setting (Boaler & Willaims 2001;, Gates 2001;, Cotton 2001) and I believe that maths teachers can play a crucial role in making the world a fairer place (Gates 2001). I hope to promote social justice through maths education. I want to help my students understand that maths is a relevant and useful subject for their lives, not just a subject that they are told they need to pass but do not understand why. I feel this is my duty!
My Master course has helped me clarify the type of maths teacher I aspire to be and collaboration is one of my core values. I understand that schools are cumbersome places and it is impossible to implement new ideas and initiatives without the help of others.
I have also come to realise that the online maths education community is very sharing with ideas and resources and this encourages me to get involved. I aim to be a ‘tinkering teacher’ (Hargreaves, 1999) , where I test, modify and evaluate new maths teaching ideas, with a view to sharing my findings with maths teachers in my school and on social media. The more I communicate with people on social media, the more I believe this is a key platform for improvements in the UK maths education system.
I hope to be an active member of this sharing online maths education community in 2016!
Boaler J. and William D. (2001) ‘We’ve still got to learn! Students’ perspectives on ability grouping and mathematics achievement’. In P. Gates (ed) Issues in Mathematics Teaching pp.77-92, London: RoutledgeFarmer
Cotton T. (2001) ‘Mathematics teaching in the real world’. In P. Gates (ed) Issues in Mathematics Teaching. pp.23-37, London: RoutledgeFarmer
Gates P. (2001) ‘What is an/at issue in mathematics education?’ In P. Gates (ed) Issues in Mathematics Teaching. pp.7-20, London: RoutledgeFarmer
Hargreaves, D. H. (1999) ‘The Knowledge-Creating School’ in British Journal of Education Studies Vol