Problem-solving in the new AS/A level Mathematics for first teaching in September 2017
The new AS/A level Mathematics for first teaching in September 2017 will place much greater emphasis on problem-solving. Here are just two of the many references to problem-solving in the DfE document “Mathematics AS and A level Content” published in December 2014
The new AS and A level specifications in mathematics must encourage students to:
* use their mathematical skills and techniques to solve challenging problems which require them to decide on the solution strategy
* use their mathematical knowledge to make logical and reasoned decisions in solving problems both within pure mathematics and in a variety of contexts, and communicate the mathematical rationale for these decisions clearly
In December 2015, Ofqual published a report of the A level Mathematics Working Group which it convened to provide expert advice in mathematical problem-solving and other areas of the new A levels. This contains useful examples of problem-solving questions.
In this session we’ll discuss examples of problem-solving questions both from this report and elsewhere. The session will be hands-on with an emphasis on attempting problem-solving questions to stimulate discussion of teaching methods.
There will be discussion of ways to encourage the development of problem-solving skills including practical advice about how to take questions and adapt them so as to require a greater level of problem-solving. The session will also include advice about other resources which encourage deeper mathematical thinking.
The Open Learning Centre
Bishop Challoner Catholic College