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Today too many children finish primary school without the foundations of mathematics, and so cannot make progress in the subject at secondary school. As a result they are not equipped to lead and participate in a full adult life. Primary Problems: A First Curriculum for Mathematics emphasises the importance of mathematics in the primary years.
Its author, Professor David Burghes, considers the examples from a group of successful, mathematically high-performing countries, Singapore, Japan and Finland. He suggests that there are lessons for this country both in terms of what is taught and when. Professor Burghes compares the government’s new proposals with these models, and while welcoming certain features, including the greater freedom for teachers, suggests where they might be modified for greater success.
This publication is kindly sponsored by OCR
As universities become ever more competitive globally, not just in the USA but now in Asia, they attract the best scholars, students and greater levels of funding. However, UK universities are being held back by the burdens of government policy. Unless this changes, they could lose their historic global lead. In particular they need freedom: from burdensome regulation in research so scholars and scientists can follow judgement and ‘hunches’; to play to their diverse strengths; and for a satisfactory balance to be struck on funding.
That’s the message from Martin Rees, one of the UK’s most distinguished scientists who also led two of our most prestigious institutions as President of the Royal Society and Master of Trinity College, Cambridge.
Last month Michael Gove, the Education Secretary, announced major reform of the exam system, with GCSEs being replaced with a new English Baccalaureate. In our blog, Sheila Lawlor, David Abulafia and Jonathan Clark welcomed the changes.
One of the changes that was announced was the scrapping of modular examinations. Politeia called for this change in Comparing Standards: Academic and Vocation, 16-19 year olds.
One of the reccommendations made by the Politeia Education Commission was that 'the trend to modular examinations and the use of coursework... should be entirely reversed. Qualifications should be gained entirely by externally set and marked examinations taken at the end of the course.'
With his new reforms, Michael Gove is reversing the trend towards modules and coursework.
Norbert Hoekstra, Ludger Schuknecht and Holger Zemanek
As the Coalition focuses its economic programme on growth, including plans to stimulate the housing market, should the government embark on another round of fiscal stimulus or is the solution of a different order? Politeia’s new study, Going for Growth: The best course for sustained economic recovery, by three senior economists at Germany’s Finance Ministry considers the evidence from six countries. Each has in recent decades emerged from similar problems of high public expenditure and stifled growth.
News of a 0.7% fall of UK GDP for the three months ending June have triggered fresh demands for a further ‘Keynesian stimulus’ and the injection of fresh public funds to stimulate the economy. But Politeia’s Realistic Recovery: Why Keynesian Solutions Will Not Work, explains that this would be the wrong course. The author, Professor Vito Tanzi, a former Fiscal Affairs Director at the IMF in Washington, shows why this is.